- Poultry giant Perdue is stepping outside its comfort zone with its latest product, Chix Mix, made from “most of the same ingredients” the company claims to use for chicken feed. It contains corn, wheat puffs and edamame, with light BBQ seasoning “for the humans,” Perdue said.
- The company is using the product launch to bring attention to its “No Antibiotics Ever” labeling, aiming to draw a contrast with its biggest competitor Tyson, which removed its antibiotic-free labeling in July as it reinstated the drug’s use in some of its products.
- Chix Mix is a limited-time offering that will be available for free on the company’s website starting Nov. 17.
While it’s unclear how serious Perdue is taking its new snacking endeavor or whether the social media campaign surrounding the launch is its entire purpose, Chix Mix is a real product. But as of now, consumers shouldn’t expect Perdue’s snack to start appearing next to their favorite potato chips and pretzels on grocery shelves.
Crafting a snack with similar ingredients to what the company feeds its chickens could help remind consumers of its chicken products’ nutritional profile next time they are buying meat.
The poultry giant said in a statement that consumers have become more interested in the nutritional profile of their food items, citing North American Meat Institute and FMI data showing 63% of consumers like to know where their food comes from.
Dr. Bruce Stewart-Brown, Perdue’s senior vice president of technical services and innovation, said in the press release that Perdue has worked for over two decades to make antibiotic-free labeling one of the company’s key selling points.
“To be successful, we improved our approach to animal care and the way we feed our chickens,” Stewart-Brown said. “We removed animal by-products and antibiotics and put in products that promote good gut health such as oregano and thyme.”
Consumers are more attuned to the health profile of their poultry products following last year’s outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza, which is currently spreading again in U.S. flocks. Antibiotic use in poultry is opposed by some public health activists because of growing concerns about antibiotic resistance.