The 2016 rebranded “Chicken Marketing Summit” held at the Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort in South Carolina concluded on Tuesday this week and was, according to stakeholder comments,  a tremendous success with a significant increase in attendance over the 2015 marketing meeting.  Participants at the meeting included representatives from poultry processing companies, food service and retail grocery poultry buyers, and allied companies that provide goods and services to the chicken industry.

The National Chicken Council and WATT Global Media (WGM) announced in late 2015 a new partnership to work together on the chicken industry’s annual marketing conference.   The goals of that partnership were to significantly grow  participation in the yearly marketing meeting, offer valuable and thought-provoking content, and to be certain that the meeting was on trend to be sustainable in future years.  Those goals were clearly met at the South Carolina meeting and NCC and summit participants  clearly benefitted from WGM’s content expertise, relationships, audience databases marketing channels, and event production experience.

With a strong lineup of speakers, the 2016 Chicken Marketing Summit explored issues regarding   judicious use of antibiotics in food animals and various marketing approaches, chicken welfare, transparency in the animal agriculture arena, trends in chicken consumption, and the market for slow-growing chickens, among other important topics relevant to the industry.

Representatives from such companies or organization as McDonald’s, Pew Charitable Trust, National Chicken Council, Ketchum, Fair Oaks Farms, Elanco, IRI, Hubbard France, IBM, Monsanto, were all part of the seminar program agenda.

The long-standing chicken purchaser panel was particularly lively and interesting at this year’s meeting with a number of questions from the audience.  The panel  included Dean Bradley, director, protein supply, Buffalo Wild Wings; Chris Change, chief financial officer, Raising Cane’s; Mike Ledford, director of food and beverage sourcing, Chick-fil-A; and Stefan Oelinger, category merchant/sourcing for meat and poultry, FreshDirect.

As in the past, this year’s summit included the always popular golf tournament.  The tournament took place on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Course in Palmetto Dunes on Hilton Head.  Roger Austin, vice president, fresh foodservice at Pilgrim’s, served as the golf tournament chairman.  Congratulations to the winning team, pictured below, of the Bill Roenigk Chicken Marketing Summit Golf Tournament 2016.

From Left to Right: Roger Austin, Pilgrims; Rob Honz, Express Markets; Scott Alexander, Peco Foods (4th player Charles Hill not present)

From Left to Right: Roger Austin, Pilgrims; Rob Honz, Express Markets; Scott Alexander, Peco Foods; Al Schuler, CoBank
(4th player Charles Hill, Albertville Quality Foods,  not present.)

Next year’s Chicken Marketing Summit is already scheduled for July 16-18 at the Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina.  So be sure to mark your calendar and don’t miss  the 2017 summit.