Growers of the nation’s broiler chickens say there should be plenty of wings and drumettes available for hungry football fans watching Sunday’s Super Bowl matchup.
Over the course of the game, the National Chicken Council estimates 1.42 billion chicken wings will be eaten. Playoff football has already brought a boost to wing sales. According to NCC, Los Angeles — the home of the Rams — has already seen a 37.3% increase in wing sales since the team began its march to the big game, according to analytics firm IRI. Cincinnati — home of the Bengals — has seen a more measured 27.6% increase.
Kickoff of the Super Bowl wing feast, however, won’t be without its costs. Grocery stores and restaurants are charging higher prices for wings as inflation, labor concerns, and higher input costs impact the supply chain. Obvious demand for the product given the upcoming celebration caused producers to divert more birds “traditionally marketed as whole birds for parts instead, like wings,” NCC noted.
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“There will be no wing shortage,” NCC spokesperson Tom Super said. “Like almost anything else you buy right now, wings might be a little more expensive, but they’ll be stocked.”
“Demand for chicken wings has been through the roof since the beginning of the pandemic,” Super added. “A shift from sit-down restaurants to takeout and quick service has boosted chicken wing consumption. Restaurants like wing joints and pizza places were built around takeout and delivery, and as long as people are sitting around watching TV and maybe drinking a beer, wings will remain in the game.”
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