April 17/Chicago/Press Release -- While poultry -- particularly chicken -- is well-represented on restaurant menus, many diners are hungry for change. More than half of consumers (55%) want restaurants to offer a greater variety of chicken entrées, and 40% of consumers want to see more options for turkey entrées on the menu.

“Escalating prices for beef and pork are nudging more consumers toward poultry,” says Darren Tristano, vice president of Technomic. “Operators and suppliers can leverage shifting expectations by exploring a wider range of versatility for chicken and poultry. These proteins are both highly adaptable to flavor innovation; look for opportunities to promote more poultry for breakfast, appetizers and snacks.”

To help foodservice executives understand the latest consumer behaviors, preferences and attitudes regarding chicken and poultry menu options, Technomic has updated its "Center of the Plate: Poultry Consumer Trend Report." Interesting findings include:
• Poultry is trending up for breakfast, snacks and appetizers. In particular, breakfast entrées featuring chicken are up by 16% on top 500 full-service restaurant menus since 2011.
• In addition to breakfast, poultry is also a viable alternative to beef and pork for lunch and dinner. Three out of 10 consumers say they would order chicken- and turkey-based substitutes for beef or pork menued during these dayparts.
• Consumers see room for turkey to expand on the menu: Nearly half of turkey consumers (46%) agree that most chicken dishes would taste just as good made with turkey.