Answer: Thank you for your request to ATTRA regarding fresh vs. frozen poultry.
The advantage of fresh over frozen poultry to the consumer is that of convenience since there is no need for the product to be thawed before cooking. It is also may convey the impression of a "fresher" product, or not one that has been stored for a period of time. According to the numbers in the Small-Scale Poultry Processing publication, 80% of poultry sold in the US is sold as fresh. More consumers are accustomed to buying fresh poultry, so they may turn away from frozen poultry just by habit which may create an obstacle in reaching a wider customer base. The main disadvantage of selling fresh over frozen poultry is the shorter shelf-life. You can keep frozen poultry for a longer period of time, but you also must take into account the cost of storing a frozen product. I am unaware of differences in taste qualities between fresh and frozen poultry, but if you are interested in research in this area I would advise contacting Dr. Casey Owens-Hanning of the University of Arkansas. She specializes in poultry processing and products and her research includes evaluating processing factors affecting poultry meat qualities.
Her contact information follows:
Dr. Casey Owens-Hanning
Center of Excellence for Poultry Science
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR 72701
Phone: (479) 575-4281
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