America Faces a Chicken Wing Shortage Just in Time for the Super Bowl
Here’s a startling fact: According to the National Chicken Council, Americans will consume approximately 1.25 billion chicken wings in just one day on Super Bowl Sunday this year. That’s enough for about four wings per person in the US – man, woman, child, elderly, baby, vegan, even the incredibly rare person who has no idea what the Super Bowl is.
With that much consumption, you’d think we might run out of wings regardless of supplies. But the consumption numbers have held steady since last year. The problem is that production is down about 50 million wings, creating a shortfall that has led to surging prices.
According to Bloomberg, just this month the cost of wholesale wings jumped 6.6 percent to $1.69 a pound and is up 30 percent since this time last year.
The irony is that chicken production in general is up when measured by weight. But farmers are now producing a smaller amount of larger birds, meaning that though there’s more meat, there are fewer wings.
Still, America’s love of wings seems to be insatiable right now, so people are probably willing to pay the higher prices. But just remember as you grab your fifth wing of the game: somewhere there’s a vegan baby who will have to go without.