Chick-fil-A announced on September 12 it has reached its goal to serve No Antibiotics Ever (also known as “NAE”) chicken in its 2,400-plus Chick-fil-A restaurants in the United States. In 2014, Chick-fil-A announced it was pursuing a bold commitment to serve only chicken raised with No Antibiotics Ever nationwide by the end of 2019.
Along with supply partners, Chick-fil-A met the milestone early, serving only No Antibiotics Ever chicken at every Chick-fil-A restaurant in the United States since May 2019. Beginning in October, packaging in restaurants will reflect this achievement.
The No Antibiotics Ever 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 United States Department of Agriculture audits and verifies that suppliers are meeting the requirements of the Chick-fil-A No Antibiotics Ever 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,” says Matt Abercrombie, 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 No Antibiotics Ever chicken has required a significant investment by Chick-fil-A and its suppliers.
“As leaders in the chicken industry, we felt that if anyone was going to commit to No Antibiotics Ever, it should be us,” Abercrombie says. “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.”
Chick-fil-A is the largest quick service restaurant franchise (based on sales data) to implement No Antibiotics Ever chicken across all restaurants in the U.S., and research shows that customers were eager for this transition. A 2018 survey by Technomic shows that 81 percent of consumers consider antibiotic-free an issue that matters to them when purchasing poultry.
“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 says.