The Chicken of Tomorrow campaign may be so yesterday but actually a campaign reported today seems to be its reanimation… are we seeing the new chicken of tomorrow bandwagon hitting the high streets?
Not sure what I’m on about? I blogged some time ago about how the original Chicken Of Tomorrow contest and the fact that is was perhaps the biggest single social, agricultural, food based episode of the last 1000 years when agriculturists, scientists, breeders, farmers, and grocers all combine together in perhaps one the most potent Public Relations exercise ever to have hit the world. It was however one that slipped so neatly under the radar of almost everyone on the planet in the 1960’s. (I also touch on it in a couple of Guardian blogs too, here and here )
I made the bold statement saying this campaign “changed the shape of poultry, the poultry industry and the waistline of the world”. It was a campaign that took the chicken from scrawny addition to the dinner table to everyday staple with such culinary constructions as chicken nuggets, buffalo wings, popcorn chicken and chicken fingers. This now results in chicken being consumed on a titanic scale and all this has come about in the last 50 years – a global consumption acceleration matched by no other meat product on the planet.
I concluded the blog by asking “what does the future hold for yesterday’s chicken of tomorrow?” – a mistake perhaps, should I have asked what does the future hold for yesterday’s chicken of tomorrow CAMPAIGN instead as it would appear to have raised its head once more albeit carry less of an animal engineering element.
Today reported on both World Poultry and Food Manufacture we see the sum of two halves. The former (a poultry industry site) reports that the NFU, British Poultry Council, Red Tractor are teaming up with some of the UKs biggest retailers to promote the chicken industry, whereas the latter (a food industry site) reports that retailers Tesco & Waitrose, along with food service firms Brakes and Compass will be backing the food campaign with its production industry counterparts.
It all sounds strangely familiar…. This time though I hope those marketing bods behind the campaign focus on educating the consumer to make sensible choices and redress the imbalance caused by the original 1948 Chicken of Tomorrow contest that saw chicken farming become farming chicken where it stopped being poultry and simply became product in some many cases.