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Mintel: Turkey Sales Higher than Chicken

CHICAGO—New Research reveals its turkey, not chicken, that's taking the lead in poultry sales. Research from Mintel on the U.S. poultry market reveals that turkey, duck and other specialty birds grew 6.5 percent in one year, reaching $7.1 billion from year 2011 to 2012.

Growing from $6 billion in 2008, turkey increased most compared to other poultry products. Today, poultry in the U.S. is valued at $30 billion, with chicken accounting for 58 percent of the total poultry market, valued at $17.3 billion, sales of chicken parts grew 4.5 percent year-on-year and whole chickens increased 0.6 percent reaching $5.5 billion.

"The growth of other poultry products over 2011 and 2012 is partly attributed to the increasing popularity of Heritage turkeys, which are bigger, take longer to reach maturity and sell for more than standard turkeys," says John N Frank, category manager for Mintel Food and Drink.

The study showed poultry may be pulling consumers from the red-meat market, with 38 percent of U.S. consumers saying they have increased their consumption of poultry in the last year. Rates have also increased among young adults, reaching 43 percent, compared to the 36 percent of senior consumers.

Ethnic consumers are a driving force behind the poultry market, with 73 percent of Asians or Pacific Islander consumers and 72 percent of Hispanic and African-American consumers cooking chicken at home, as apposed to the 62 percent of White consumers.

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