Here’s a stat that might surprise you: The most popular takeout food in the US isn’t an old standard like pizza or Chinese. It’s chicken wings. But the rise of wings has coincided with a drop in their spice.
GrubHub compiled data from the past year’s worth of orders, looking at information from its network that includes 30,000 restaurants and more than 4 million diners. Surprisingly, chicken wings ranked as the most ordered item in the country.
Nation’s Restaurant News attributes the growth in wing sales to the increasing number of flavor options available beyond the Buffalo standbys. “It used to be hot, extra hot. There were really no flavors,” Tom Scalese, COO of East Coast Wings, told NRN.com. “Now, with so many flavors…it’s opened up that door, and a lot more flexibility.” To that end, his 30-unit chain started offering 75 flavors.
Interestingly, Americans like spicy food now more than ever. So the rise of the sweet wing remains a bit of mystery. It’s probably just us fickle Americans needing a customized version of everything. If we’ve learned anything from a certain, recent pizza debacle, more isn’t always better. Honestly, I’m not even sure I could think of 75 wing flavors if I tried.