Right now we all want to get our kids back in school. We want to resume to in-person learning, full-time. We want students to enjoy social interaction with one another. And we want our classrooms to be free of viruses and full of learning. Basically, we're ready for our schools to get back to normal.
If we said we weren't feeling a bit nostalgic for lunchrooms full of students, we'd be lying. But there's something else we've been missing in our school cafeterias over the last several years -- the ubiquitous fried chicken nugget. So, can we all agree to go back to the chicken nugget when our kids all go back to school?
The chicken nugget is the king of kid foods. You can make an argument for pizza and mac-n-cheese, for sure. However, the crispy exterior or a chicken nugget, the warm flavorful interior, and all those great dipping sauces is the ultimate dining experience for kids.
Invented by Cornell University food science professor, Robert Baker, in the 1950s, the nugget was originally called the "Chicken Crispie." As the history goes, it solved a few problems with the meat processing industry, using a batter that could clump ground meat together while also providing a coating that could be both fried and frozen.
According to surveys, as many as 73.36 million Americans consumed chicken nuggets in 2020. In terms of servings, in 2018, this equated to roughy 2.3 billion servings. While these numbers reflect just how popular chicken nuggets are, in terms of the overall popularity of chicken, some studies show nuggets are being consumed less. In reality, there's probably an element of truth in both.
For starters, more people seem to be shifting toward chicken strips than nuggets. According to CNBC, strips are seen as a "more wholesome, grown-up version" of nuggets, and they're becoming more prevalent on menus.
They also state an important fact about chicken nuggets. They're classic and not likely to benefit from any types of production innovations, and that's exactly why we're lobbying -- albeit somewhat humorously -- that we return chicken nuggets to schools when we return our students.
Kids love chicken nuggets. Heck, we love chicken nuggets. And we'd love to see them back in our school cafeterias soon. Just think of what they'd do for student participation levels!
Get help from Pitco. Schedule a free culinary consultation with us today, and help get chicken nuggets back in schools!