What's this kind of chicken products package called?
In my language it's simply called "package" (this is the translation), but I'm asking about this specific kind. Someone told me maybe it is called "tray". Is it what you call it as native English speakers?

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  • This can get rather involved, depending on context. In everyday AmE lingo: package or pack or tray pack. (not just tray).
    – Lambie
    Commented Dec 20, 2018 at 14:50
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    Please give a real-world context where you'd like to use this word, if it exists.
    – TimR
    Commented Dec 20, 2018 at 15:15
  • Please, here are some contexts for instance: 1) As an advertisement above the products in supermarket. 2) Let's suppose that I am a teacher and want to ask my students to use this kind of package for some experiment. 3) I want to describe to my friend which of the packages exactly to buy in the supermarket (It's much more comfortable to use what I was told that it's called 'tray'). Commented Dec 20, 2018 at 15:20
  • What does real world context mean? A picture is real-world context.
    – Lambie
    Commented Dec 20, 2018 at 15:24
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    Is he ordering such trays from a packaging company? Asking a recycling company whether that kind of packaging is recyclable? Does he need to know the term of art as used by people knowledgeable about packaging, or would a periphrasis suffice (e.g. " foam tray from some refrigerated chicken you bought at the supermarket"). That's what I mean, @Lambie.
    – TimR
    Commented Dec 20, 2018 at 15:31

4 Answers 4


Pack or package would be perfectly acceptable. If you wanted to get more technical, you might say that it was a shrink-wrapped package.

  • But this one can also be "shrink wrapped package" and it's something totally else. contents.i.sdska.ru/_i/news/c/74/temp/chelru/sdelano/2013/…. Would you not use the word "tray"? How are you used to see it called in supermarkets around you? Commented Dec 20, 2018 at 15:14
  • No, we generally would not use the word 'tray'. Including in supermarkets. Supermarkets would just use 'pack' or 'package'.
    – Werrf
    Commented Dec 20, 2018 at 15:18
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    tray packs is the technical term, by the way. Also, I think BrE speakers would say packet.
    – Lambie
    Commented Dec 20, 2018 at 15:25
  • 3
    "Tray" would be what you call the yellow styrofoam thing. With the chicken and plastic wrap, it's a "package" or "pack".
    – pboss3010
    Commented Dec 20, 2018 at 15:27
  • In supermarkets, we don't necessarily even bother to say pack. We say I'm buying some chicken legs or chicken thighs etc. And when you tell someone to pick some up at the grocery store, you say that too. You would only use it if you are buying more than one pack/packages.
    – Lambie
    Commented Dec 20, 2018 at 17:27

In response to your question what would you tell your friends who you sends to the supermarket to buy some chicken: Most likely I would ask them to get a "package" or several "packages" of (uncooked) chicken.

The challenge is that each supermarket might package its chicken in a different way. Some use trays like the one in your picture. Some will sell similar items in bags. Of course, you can also buy whole chickens in various ways.

"Package" works because it covers most of the options. It doesn't matter how the chicken is packaged, as long as you bring back one (or more) of those packages.

That being said, you'll probably have to explicitly say what part of the chicken you want, and whether you want it with or without bones:

Could you pick up a couple of packages of boneless chicken thighs?

Could you pick up a couple of packages of drumsticks and wings?

Could you pick up a whole chicken, but cut into pieces?

and also whether you want it raw or cooked -- many supermarkets offer whole cooked chickens for relatively low cost, and your friends might be confused.

Could you pick us up a cooked (rotisserie) chicken for dinner?

In any case, chicken is normally sold by weight so it's more common to tell someone how much you need, rather than focus on the packaging.

  • 1
    There can be different sizes of packs, so it's not a typical unit of measure for shopping. If you were planning a recipe, you'd be much more likely to ask someone to pick up "around 800 grams of chicken breast", which have plans to use in 2 separate meals. Leave it up to them whether to find 2 small packs or one large pack. Commented Dec 21, 2018 at 8:00

The phrase foam tray is generic and encompasses a wide range of applications, not just the tray on which meat and poultry are placed in the refrigerated bins and on the refrigerated shelves of the supermarket.

  • Thank you for your answer. Please, refer to the situation where you send your friends to the supermarket to buy some chicken. How would you say "Please, bring one "chicken wings tray" or "chicken wings foam tray"? Commented Dec 20, 2018 at 16:06
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    I really don't understand your question. If I'm sending someone to the supermarket to buy chicken, I would ask for the kind of meat and the weight or the number, as the case may call for. Please get about a pound of chicken thighs or Please get two chicken breasts or Please get about eight drumsticks. The packaging would be irrelevant.
    – TimR
    Commented Dec 20, 2018 at 18:19
  • @Tᴚoɯɐuo - in some Russian stores chicken is sold "by-package", with the packages marked with price, so it would be a common turn of phrase, "bring a (kilogram) package of chicken breasts". Commented Dec 20, 2018 at 18:46
  • @CowperKettle: In the US, chicken is also placed in such packages in supermarkets. But there is no variety in the packaging itself, only varying weight and varying number of pieces and varying combinations of pieces. So every package has a slightly different price, since the packaged meat is sold by weight. The packaging is never a relevant component of such a request. No one asks for a package of chicken but for an amount of chicken.
    – TimR
    Commented Dec 20, 2018 at 18:54
  • @Tᴚoɯɐuo, I think your comments could usefully go into the answer. I'd offer the caveat that one might say something like "get a roaster chicken—not the packaged kind, a whole chicken" (or vice versa).
    – 1006a
    Commented Dec 20, 2018 at 20:19

I asked a friend who works in the chicken processing industry (in Pennsylvania, but he ships around the whole USA), and he said that they would call it a tray pack, but most customers would simply say either tray or package.

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