Is Plumping a Trend?

Articles
June 23, 2010

Is Plumping a Trend?

We aren't talking about the injecting of silicone or saline in as actresses (or actor's) lips -

We aren't talking about the injecting of silicone or saline in as actresses (or actor's) lips - we are talking about the impactful campagin being waged by some brands of fresh chicken to educate consumers about the injection of saline to increase the size of a cooked bird as much as 20%. The truth is that water, even salt water, is cheaper than meat - but also in some cases, addING a salt water solution to a "tough" bird actually can make it more tender.

There actually is nothing wrong with this practice, as long as it is clearly identified, and the finished product is priced to reflect the high saline content. Expect, now more than ever with beef prices on the rise, in both retail and foodservice operations that "plumping" can actually turn into a marketing advantage pushing more tender poultry (and maybe other meats) while promoting more lower priced chicken products.

The chicken trend is starting as fast-feeders known more for their burgers are adding chicken wings, chicken wraps and the like to their menus-most likely more to preserve margins, rather than in response to consumer demand.

Will people necessarily switch from burgers to chicken? The jury is still in deliberation. Certainly part of the population recognizes that a chicken breast on average is lower fat and lower calorie than a ground beef patty. And when you compare the pricing, there is little doubt which offers the most protein at the lower cost. But the decision will be made based on just how smart (or stupid) and TRUTHFUL the marketing, labeling and advertising messages evolve.