Chick-fil-A announced that it has reached its goal to serve "no antibiotics ever" (NAE) chicken in its Chick-fil-A restaurants in the U.S.
In 2014, Chick-fil-A, which has more than 2,400 restaurants in the U.S., said it was pursuing a bold commitment to serve only NAE chicken nationwide by the end of 2019. Along with supply partners, Chick-fil-A met the milestone early, serving only NAE chicken at every Chick-fil-A restaurant in the U.S. since May 2019. Beginning in October, packaging in restaurants will reflect this achievement.
The NAE commitment made by Chick-fil-A allows no antibiotics of any kind to be administered to the chicken within its supply, starting from the egg. The U.S. Department of Agriculture audits and verifies that suppliers are meeting the requirements of Chick-fil-A's NAE commitment.
“We know consumers care about how their food is made and where it comes from, including the use of antibiotics. Because it was important to our customers, it was important to us,” said Matt Abercrombie, Chick-fil-A director, menu and packaging. “Chick-fil-A has always been committed to serving customers delicious food made with high-quality ingredients, and offering no antibiotics ever chicken was the next step. Our goal was to pursue the highest standard and partner with the USDA to verify it.”
The transition to NAE chicken has required a significant investment by Chick-fil-A and its suppliers, the company said.
“As leaders in the chicken industry, we felt that if anyone was going to commit to no antibiotics ever, it should be us. We worked with our suppliers to convert our chicken supply to no antibiotics ever, which was an industry-changing move, as the supply of no antibiotics ever chicken previously did not exist to match our scale,” Abercrombie said.
Chick-fil-A is the largest quick-service restaurant franchise (based on sales data) to implement NAE chicken across all restaurants in the U.S., and research shows that customers were eager for this transition. The company reported that a 2018 survey by Datassential revealed that 50% of consumers surveyed said they would be more likely to buy NAE chicken, and an additional 31% said they would even pay more for it.
“We know our customers have placed their trust in us, and we work every day to ensure Chick-fil-A restaurants serve food our customers can feel better about eating,” Abercrombie said.