New brine cap to increase chicken prices untrue

The widespread reports stating that frozen chicken portions will become more expensive with the new brine cap, is untrue, according to Scott Pittman, managing director of the consumer division at RCL Foods.

Government announced new brining regulations that cap the amount of brine at 10% in whole chicken and at 15% in portions. 

That prices would increase was a myth being fostered by certain stakeholders in the industry that are against the new cap, Pittman said.

“Currently a 2kg packet of frozen chicken portions costs consumers R39,99.

There are about 10 pieces of chicken in each packet. If the brine percentage is capped at 15%, the amount of brine in each packet will come down from an average of 30% to 15%.

The same 10 pieces of chicken will still be in the packet, but the packet will now weigh 1,65kg because there will be less brine, and the new 1,65kg packet will cost the same R39,99, for the same 10 pieces. It is that simple,” he explained.

RCL Foods, which produces and markets the Rainbow, Farmer Brown and Simply Chicken brands, said it had always campaigned for a cap on injection, because it believed that South African levels of brine in frozen portions of chicken were unsupported by science, and excessive injection levels by the larger manufacturers had compromised the integrity of South African chicken and the industry.