Supermarket BBQ chicken bargains are biting into fast food outlet profits

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 31st October 2016

Supermarket BBQ chicken bargains are biting into fast food outlet profits

The latest data from Roy Morgan Research shows chicken fast food restaurants are feeling the pinch from decisions made by Coles and Woolworths to lower the everyday prices of their BBQ chickens.

Since the beginning of 2016, Coles and Woolworths have reduced the prices of their BBQ chickens, a decision Roy Morgan Research says shows that the supermarkets know their customers  well – considering there are more Australians eating chicken in an average week than there are drinking milk or eating bread.

According to the latest findings from Roy Morgan Research, 84.4 per cent of Australians are eating chicken in an average week, whilst only 77 per cent are drinking milk and just 70 per cent are eating bread or toast.

Making the choice to jump into a chicken price war is however having an impact on chicken fast food outlets reports Roy Morgan Research.

In the 12 months to June 2015, 29.2 per cent of Australians visited at least one fast food chicken restaurant in any given four weeks. By June 2016, this figure had fallen to 28.4 per cent.

Breaking the data down further Roy Morgan Research found 33.1 per cent of Woolworths shoppers were purchasing chickens from fast food outlets at least once a month in 2015 but only 30.4 per cent were doing so in 2016; Coles shoppers visiting fast food chicken outlets fell from 30.8 per cent to 30 per cent over the same period.

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2015-June 2016, n=15,867 and July 2014-June 2015, n=14,956. Base: Australians 14+

Norman Morris, Industry Communication Director at Roy Morgan Research, described Australia’s taste for chicken as “insatiable”.

“While it is too early to determine whether the roast-chicken wars will have any lasting effect on visitation to fast-food outlets like KFC or Red Rooster, it is certainly noteworthy that year-on-year figures have slipped,” Morris said.

“Admittedly, the decline has been slight, but the fact that it is evident across the main players must surely give pause for thought, as must the downturn among Coles and Woolies shoppers who visit fast-food chicken outlets. If the price is right, why wouldn’t people buy a cheap roast chicken while they’re at the supermarket instead of making a special trip?” he said.