In an attention-grabbing move, the US’ biggest producer of fresh chicken, Perdue, launched a snack made from “most of the same ingredients” that it feeds its chickens.
The free trial product, named Chix Mix, was part of a marketing campaign in November 2023. Chix Mix was a mix of corn, wheat puffs and edamame beans flavoured with barbecue spices. Promoted with taglines like “our chickens eat food, not antibiotics” and “our feed is so good that you can eat it too”, 100 bags of Chix Mix were snatched up in just a few hours. The campaign was supported by PR and social media, through videos posted on Instagram and Facebook.
Snapshots from the Chix Mix campaign videos
Chix Mix probably won’t result in any significant revenue boost, but this move was all about perception and building Perdue's brand equity. Aware that many American consumers are concerned about antibiotics in chicken and animal welfare, Perdue wanted to prove that what their chickens eat is safe for humans and that they are raised in an environment that is so healthy that there is no need for antibiotics. In fact, Perdue was the first major chicken company in the US to completely eliminate the routine use of all human antibiotics in 2014.
The campaign can also be seen as a dig at rival Tyson, which recently announced that it will start using antibiotics again after vowing to stop in 2015. “Our largest competitor has gone back to giving their chickens antibiotics before they’re even sick. But they can’t solve their problems by throwing antibiotics at them,” the in-depth section about antibiotics on Perdue’s website reads. The same section features several more critical statements such as “we know better, we do better” and “antibiotics aren’t the answer”.