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Demand for chicken wings is evident locally during the big game

Posted at 7:51 PM, Feb 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-07 20:51:28-05

COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS — Battling for the Lombardi Trophy Sunday isn't the only battle known to football fans.

The search for chicken wings is just as important.

Outside of the two teams squaring off, comfort foods are also a big part of the showdown.

According to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert, the sales of chicken wings are expected to break records this year, despite reduced poultry production and during an ongoing pandemic.

Our country has seen many changes over the last year, but one thing has remained the same, America's love for chicken wings.

According to the National Chicken Council, consumption surrounding this year's big game is projected to be 1.42 billion chicken wings, which is up 2% from last year.

"It was actually the first time I went in the grocery and couldn't get the wings because you know they usually have them all time. I asked the guy that was bringing out the meat if they would have any more and he said not today... probably Monday," Dee Wilson, a Bryan resident and wing lover said.

Wilson is a resident seeing first hand the supply and demand that happens during this time of year, and experts say there's an explanation for it.

"We have prices that are well above where we were last year at this time. I think that is a culmination of a couple of factors. One is, following all of the turmoil of the pandemic, one of the things is the industry has cut production of chicken a little bit," David Anderson, a professor and extension economist with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service said.

For David Anderson, a professor and extension economist with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and livestock economist, this is one of his favorite times of the year because it's time to talk chicken.

"I think the Super Bowl is a big event. Even if we might have smaller gatherings given the pandemic, chicken wings feature pretty prominently. I also think if we also look at the wing markets a little bit our retail outlets, some of those chains some are a lot of takeout business also," Anderson added.

Weathering the nature of the pandemic and the take-out trend, Fat Shack in College Station says they've seen an influx in orders for people wanting to enjoy their snacks at home.

"I would say they have doubled," Shanley Holguin, manager at Fat Shack said. "Our wings have gotten real popular since they are half priced on Sunday," she added.

According to the National Chicken Council, in restaurants, servings of chicken wings were up 7% in 2020 versus 2019 despite an 11% decline in trips to commercial restaurants over the same time period.

So how do 1.42 billion chicken wings stack up?

The National Chicken Council breaks down the number:

  • Assuming Kansas City Chiefs’ Coach Andy Reid can eat three wings per minute, it would take him more than 900 years to eat 1.42 billion wings.
  • 42 billion wings could circle the circumference of the earth 3 times.
  • 42 billion wings laid end would stretch 19 times from Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri to Raymond James stadium in Tampa Florida.