Chicken on the Rise

2016 proved to be a tough year for QSRs but Sense360 data shows that a certain eating category is coming into 2017 with some momentum.  Sense360, a market insights company that observes the visitation behavior of customers, highlights that chicken brands have grown in market share from July, 2016 to February, 2017 in comparison to other categories. The comparison is noticeable when looking at the change in market share between chicken and burger destinations. The graph below shows the trend for chicken going up and the trend for burgers going down.


Success at the Brand Level

Of course, individual chicken brands are behind the category increase. Sense360’s data shows Chick-fil-A, Popeyes Famous Fried Chicken, Bojangles’, and Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers all reflect increases in market share from July of 2016 to February 2017.  While some of these increases do not seem massive at first, note that these are increases in market share for the top 140 QSR brands.  For example: Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers’ increase may have been a 5 basis point change in market share but reflected an 18% increase from where they were in July.  See the graph below:


*You can also see a more comprehensive report of the QSR market by checking out the monthly Benchmark report on Sense360’s website.

Attention From Industry Leaders

The recent success of chicken has not gone unnoticed by industry leaders. Restaurant Brands, owner of Burger King, Tim Hortons and various other brands, has decided to enter the ring by purchasing Popeyes. A CNN Money article suggests that Restaurant Brands has tremendous faith in the future of Popeyes and their recent decision to launch a new chicken sandwich at Burger King further reflects their belief that chicken dishes are only going to increase in popularity. In a recent Business Insider article, Alex Macedo, the President of Burger King, discusses the importance of having success in the growing category of chicken stating, “ quite frankly it’s one of the fastest-growing categories.”  It seems some knowledgeable individuals have bought into the idea of chicken taking up a larger portion of the plate and the numbers seem to agree with them according to the latest observations of Sense360.