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2021 Poultry Report Part II – Poultry Consumption Trends in Restaurants

Poultry Consumption Trends in Restaurants

The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed consumer behavior as routines have shifted, and this contributed to shifts in poultry consumption in restaurants. While many restaurant brands have seen declines in sales, a few brands specializing in chicken are performing relatively well, says Anne Mills, senior manager of consumer insights at Chicago-based Technomic, A Winsight Co. Wingstop is one such chain, having recorded a 32 percent increase in same-store sales in the second-quarter.

In general, chicken wings are doing well as they are an off-premise friendly food, Mills explains. Chicken sandwiches also continue to be a favorite. Recently, more brands have introduced new or updated chicken sandwiches, including Farmer Boy’s, Zaxby’s, Church’s Chicken and Fuku.

Flavor innovation with chicken and turkey also continues with restaurants, with spicy flavors particularly popular. For example, Wings Over launched Fire Buffalo Sauce with Ghost Pepper, Buffalo Wild Wings recently introduced four new sauces for its signature chicken wings (Orange Chicken, Lemon Pepper, Carolina Reaper and Pizza) and Oggi’s recently added an Adobo Chicken Pizza.

“Adobo chicken is growing on restaurant menus, and it’s not limited just to chicken,” Mills says.

Restaurants also are experimenting with new poultry cuts. For example, Wingstop is currently testing bone-in chicken thighs, due in part to volatile chicken prices.

New restaurant concepts and models also are being tested around poultry. For instance, Buffalo Wild Wings opened a location called Buffalo Wild Wings Go that focuses more on takeout and delivery.

Additionally, chicken is playing a role in the growth of virtual restaurants. “Many virtual restaurants — those that only have an online presence and deliver food — focus on chicken such as chicken wings or fried chicken,” Mills says. “For example, Chili’s introduced a virtual concept called It’s Just Wings.’”

This year, consumer behavior will remain fluid as the pandemic continues to affect consumer routines, potentially influencing poultry trends. Mills anticipates the shift toward off-premise, which accelerated in 2020, will continue into 2021.

So what is this Adobo Chicken trending up?!

Adobo refers to a method of marinating and stewing for any cut of meat or fish in a briny mixture of vinegar, soy sauce, and spices. Filipino adobo should not be confused with the spicy Spanish adobo sauce. Although they both share the Spanish name, they are vastly different in flavor and ingredients.

This cooking method, like most of Filipino culture, is of mixed heritage. While not official, many consider chicken adobo to be the national dish of the Philippines. There are many regional varieties of adobo, but most recipes include vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves, and black pepper. The meat is marinated and then stewed in this mixture, which yields a very flavorful, tangy, and tender meat. Adobo is usually served over a bed of fluffy rice to absorb the deliciously tangy sauce.

History of Adobo

Like many cultures based in warm climates, Filipino natives developed various methods of preserving food. Adobo utilizes the acid in the vinegar and the high salt content of soy sauce to produce an undesirable environment for bacteria. Its delicious flavor and preserving qualities served to increase adobo’s popularity. The adobo was traditionally cooked in clay pots but today is made in more common metal pots or woks.

Most Common Adobos

Even though the adobo marinade can vary from region to region—and cook to cook—some adobo dishes are made more often than others, like chicken, pork, and beef. When chicken is the meat of choice, it is called adobong manok, and the dish adobong baboy includes pork. Adobong baka is beef adobo.

Curious to try the Adobo Chicken trend? Try this recipe from Pampered Chef


Adobo Chicken Sandwich

This sandwich is a great example of balancing flavors: sweet, salty, sour, savory (umami), and bitter. There’s sweetness from the brown sugar, saltiness from the soy sauce, sourness from the vinegar, savory from the chicken and soy sauce, and bitterness from the arugula.


  • Chicken & Cooking Liquid
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4 4-oz. (125 g) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • ½ cup (125 mL) white vinegar
  • ¼ cup (50 mL) reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) brown sugar
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) Garlic Rub
  • Sandwich
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled, coarsely grated
  • ½   cucumber, coarsely grated
  • 4   sandwich buns
  • 2 cups (500 mL) arugula
  • Sauce
  • 1 ½” (1-cm) piece fresh gingerroot, peeled
  • ½   lemon
  • 1   green onion, diced
  • ½ cup (125 mL) mayonnaise


  • Cut the onion into 1″ (2.5-cm) quarters. Place the onion in the Rockcrok® Everyday Pan, then place the chicken on top of the onion.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, and garlic rub. Pour the mixture over the chicken.
  • Microwave, covered, for 12–15 minutes, or until the chicken reaches 165°F (74°C).
  • Meanwhile, for the sauce, finely grate the ginger to measure 1 tsp (5 mL). Stir and combine the mayonnaise, ginger, lemon juice, and green onion.
  • Remove the chicken from the pan and transfer the pan to the stove. Simmer the sauce, uncovered, over medium-high heat for 5–8 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced by a third. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
  • To make the sandwich, spread the sauce on each of the buns, add the chicken, and top with the carrot, cucumber, and arugula.


  • 4  servings
  • Nutrients per serving:
  • U.S. Nutrients per serving (1 sandwich): Calories 410, Total Fat 25 g, Saturated Fat 3.5 g, Cholesterol 55 mg, Sodium 920 mg, Carbohydrate 25 g, Fiber 2 g, Sugar 6 g, Protein 21 g

Cook’s Tips:

  • Adobo chicken is a classic Filipino dish that’s usually served over white rice.
  • Take it slow by braising the chicken in the Rockcrok® Slow Cooker Stand. Complete steps 1 and 2 as directed, then cook, covered, on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 8 hours.

Article: Courtesy of The National Provisioner /  Written by Elizabeth Fuhrman, contributing writer. All Rights Reserved BNP Media// You can read the full article here:

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