ERS: Interest in Antibiotic-free Chicken Increasing

The Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service this week released a report titled “The Market for Chicken Raised Without Antibiotics, 2012–17.” The report studies consumer attitudes for chicken raised without antibiotics and their purchases of the products. The analysis grouped chicken products into three distinct market segments: classic, processed, and sausage.

Between 2012 and 2017, household expenditure shares for antibiotic-free products grew substantially within each of the three market segments. In 2012, the products only represented four percent of the classic market, one percent of the processed market, and seven percent of the sausage market. By 2017, the products represented 11, nine, and 18 percent of the markets, respectively. Between 2012 and 2017, antibiotic-free products also commanded higher prices per pound than conventional chicken products. For classic, processed, and sausage chicken products, antibiotic-free products had prices that were on average 87, 55, and 48 percent greater than conventional products.