With home delivery and takeaway providing an increasingly valuable service during lockdown in the UK, chicken has proved to be a popular product. Frozen food distributor Central Foods has seen a large rise in demand for its Golden Valley Foods poultry range.
The increase is coming from a number of sources, including foodservice operators who are switching to home delivery, existing delivery operators who are experiencing an upturn in demand from consumers, and click and collect options being launched for consumers by organisations that previously worked solely within the food trade sector.
“We’ve noticed that sales of our chicken range have increased significantly since lockdown, a reflection of how consumers are turning to delivery,” explained Gordon Lauder, MD of Central Foods.
“Click and collect operators are providing fast food favourites too, during the time that consumers are unable to dine out.
“Chicken is a must-have on any takeaway delivery menu. It’s the most popular meat served in the UK, is available in various formats which means it can be served in lots of different ways, and it travels well for delivery too.
“Households are rewarding themselves with a ‘treat’ during these testing times, which means that demand for chicken is flying.”
Gordon recommends that takeaways and delivery operators offer fast food add-ons such as sides and desserts, alongside their chicken and fries.
“There are lots of novel ideas for serving chicken to tempt consumers,” he added. “Instead of just serving chicken in traditional buns or with fries, operators could also consider serving their chicken items in different formats. How about serving in bao buns or as part of a ‘hot box’ meal – tapping into the street food trend? This will provide a more premium offering, which can also command increased profit margins.
“For operators looking for further ideas to increase sales, why not consider tempting customers with a tasty, US-style ‘chicken and waffles’ or ‘chicken and doughnuts’ breakfast? Breakfast is the fastest growing eating out meal occasion, but with home delivery playing such an increasingly important role in our lives, operators could consider serving take-out breakfasts to make the most of their facilities and resources. It will make you stand out from your competitors and may even increase loyalty – important commercial considerations for when lockdown ends and we return to the ‘new normal’.
“Don’t forget your gluten-free customers. Over time, there’s been an increasing awareness of the importance of offering tasty gluten-free meals for customers who are coeliac or who choose to avoid gluten for other reasons. If you’re looking to add poultry products to takeaway or delivery menus, then it’s a good idea to include options for those with dietary requirements. It’s often the person in the family with a dietary requirement who will choose where to order food from, so offering gluten-free chicken products could prove a winner.
“The Golden Valley Foods gluten-free chicken products range includes chicken fillets-Italiano, plain breaded chunks, plain breaded goujons and Southern-fried goujons.”