January 27, 2013

Chicken Wing Shortage Jeopardizes Super Bowl Parties!

So, you like eating chicken wings while you watch football? Oh, the year’s biggest football game is only a week away? You better stock up the freezer now before time runs out and you’re eating cheeseburgers.

Ahh, chicken wings. Crunchy on the outside, juicy on the inside, wrapped in sticky flavorful sauces and accompanied by cool crunchy celery. My mouth is watering.

I love chicken wings. More specifically, I love hot wings! I’m also a big fan of American football, and I love nothing more than a plate of hot wings to go with my game.

Super Bowl XLVII is right around the corner, February 3 to be exact, and I don’t have any plans yet. But I’m headed to the grocery store as soon as I finish writing this blog to ensure I’ve got my wings for the game because there is a shortage of those delectable morsels of chicken-y goodness.

According Bill Roenigk, chief economist and market analyst at the Washington D.C.-based National Chicken Council, “Chicken companies produced about one percent fewer birds last year, due in large part to record high corn and feed prices.” Roenigk went on to explain that “Corn makes up more than two-thirds of chicken feed and corn prices hit an all-time high in 2012, due to two reasons:  last summer’s drought and pressure from a federal government requirement that mandates 40 percent of our corn crop be turned into fuel in the form of ethanol.  Simply put, less corn equals higher feed costs, which means fewer birds produced.”

Simply put, with supply down slightly and demand at it’s highest of the season, the prices are going up. If you’re planning a Super Bowl party at your house next weekend, you may want to go stock up now, and be sure to bring a few extra dollars.

Reporting from the National Chicken council also says, “Wholesale wings are currently at about $2.11 (USD) a pound (Northeast), the highest on record at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, up $.26 (USD) cents or 14 percent from a year earlier.”

Wing prices always go up in the fourth quarter of the year as restaurants stock up for the Super Bowl and prices usually peak in January during the run-up to the big game.  But many analysts expect that demand will hold steady even after the NFL season ends.”

If you don’t plan on throwing a party, and you’re headed to Hooters or Buffalo Wild Wings, don’t fret. They’re well stocked, and have been for some time.

Super Bowl Sunday is historically one of America’s biggest days for stuffing your face, second only to Thanksgiving. Surprisingly though, it’s not the biggest day for beer, that’s Independence Day. Super Bowl Sunday is only eighth on the list for beer consumption, but luckily there’s no fear of a beer shortage.

Interestingly, 57 percent of people prefer ranch dressing with their wings followed by barbecue at 43 percent, hot sauce at 38 percent, and my personal favorite, bleu cheese at 35 percent. I guess I’m weird. That’s not news though.

The moral of the story is, if you’re planning to host a Super Bowl party to watch the Ravens beat the 49ers, don’t be the dummy furiously scanning the meat department at your local grocery store two or three hours before the game. You may end up having to grab some charcoal and a few pounds of ground beef as an alternative.

Believe me, as much as folks love cheeseburgers, there’s nothing like chicken wings on game day.

Image Credit: MSPhotographic / Shutterstock

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