Consumer research from the Nielsen Perishables Group and O&T Farms found that 79% of consumers polled are interested in chicken enriched with omega-3 fatty acids, and 58% of those consumers would pay a premium for it.
Best known for their presence in fresh fish, omega-3s are believed to promote heart health, improve prenatal health and reduce inflammation, cognitive aging and developmental disorders. A new chicken nutrition offering from O&T Farms enables the popular health attribute to expand from the seafood department into the meat case. Omega-3 chicken is powered by LinPRO, which uses an all-natural blend of flaxseed and pulses in a patented dry-extrusion process to produce a digestible and nutritious chicken feed ingredient.
The national survey of 700 chicken consumers found that while value and taste are the top attributes for consumers’ food and beverage purchases, nutrition and health play a significant role. Specifically for chicken, research respondents rated omega-3 behind only antibiotic-free and hormone-free chicken on their list of top production-oriented attributes.
“We expected to find that consumers are receptive to a new health attribute in the meat case, but we were surprised to see such a high percentage who are willing to pay a premium for the omega-3 chicken,” says Sherry Frey, vice president, Nielsen Perishables Group. “Consumers are prioritizing their health now more than ever.”
Interest in omega-3 enriched chicken is highest among consumers who shop in natural/specialty food stores, where 93% indicated they are interested in the product and 80% of those consumers are willing to pay a premium. Appeal is also high among consumers over age 35.
Optimal messaging will be critical to omega-3 chicken’s appeal on shelf. The research indicates consumers prefer simple messaging that clearly explains the health benefits of omega-3 chicken.