Sep 11, 2019

Chicken consumption is closing in on red meat

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Data: USDA, National Chicken Council; Chart: Axios Visuals

Popeyes only makes up a small portion of profits for owner Restaurant Brands International, but the success of its chicken sandwich could change the calculus for the brand.

The big picture: Chicken has been an increasing share of Americans' diets since the 1980s when doctors began warning that eating too much saturated fat from red meat could increase the risk of heart disease.

  • Last year more poultry than red meat was eaten by U.S. consumers per capita, with chicken almost closing the gap with a combination of beef, pork, veal and mutton/lamb by itself.
  • Popeyes already is growing faster than both Restaurant Brands International's Tim Hortons and Burger King, according to Q2 results.

The intrigue: Chicken also has become much less expensive in recent years, driving a surge in buying from cash-strapped U.S. workers who have seen the costs of health care, education and housing skyrocket while their paychecks have stayed roughly the same.

  • "In 1960 a pound of chicken cost half as much as a pound of beef. This ratio has now fallen to one-third," the Economist notes.
  • "The proliferation of antibiotics in industrial agriculture allows farmers to keep chickens in denser and dirtier conditions than ever before. A study by Martin Zuidhof from the University of Alberta found that the average broiler chicken, raised for meat, weighed 4.2kg at 56 days of age in 2005, up from just 0.9kg in 1957."

Go deeper: Popeyes' chicken sandwich and the future of fast food

Go deeper

The wreckage of summer

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

We usually think of Memorial Day as the start of the summer, with all of the fun and relaxation that goes with it — but this one is just going to remind us of all of the plans that have been ruined by the coronavirus.

Why it matters: If you thought it was stressful to be locked down during the spring, just wait until everyone realizes that all the traditional summer activities we've been looking forward to are largely off-limits this year.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 5,428,605 — Total deaths: 345,375 — Total recoveries — 2,179,408Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 1,643,499 — Total deaths: 97,722 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,915Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil Over 100 cases in Germany tied to single day of church services.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks over Memorial Day.
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

The CDC is warning of potentially "aggressive rodent behavior" amid a rise in reports of rat activity in several areas, as the animals search further for food while Americans stay home more during the coronavirus pandemic.

By the numbers: More than 97,700 people have died from COVID-19 and over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Over 366,700 Americans have recovered and more than 14.1 million tests have been conducted.