For better or worse, the Superbowl is upon us. Domestic violence will go up. People will tweet about Beyonce. And — most importantly — Americans will eat shitloads of wings.
We will pay dearly for the pleasure of chomping into those spicy, tender vittles, however, because chicken wings are now wholesaling for $2.10 a pound. That’s right, wholesaling — that price that means nothing to you because it’s some fraction of what you will pay for them, which is about $2.52 a pound, up from a little less than $2 last year.
A little perspective: So every year during Superbowl season there’s a rush on wings, duh. And the industry tends to be prepared for it, and indeed, every Superbowl season there’s a big uptick in wing consumption that should surprise no one, except for maybe, like, people who live off the grid and brag about not having TVs and basically knowing nothing.
But here’s the thing that’s just crazy, and why, in addition to some inflation, the prices have gone up so much: As much as people historically loved wings at Super Bowl season, they are loving wings more and more. According to the National Chicken Council, this year will set a new record: Americans will stuff themselves with 1.23 billion wings this weekend.
“If laid out end to end,” the council’s website says, “they would stretch from Candlestick Park in San Francisco to M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore 27 times.”
What I have to say about this is a) holy shit; b) gross (I hate wings. My hatred of wings pre-dates any new anti-meat feelings by many, many years); and c) that said, I am so in the wrong business and about to devote myself full time to figuring out how to breed a chicken with four wings. Or maybe even six.
- Americans Buy So Many Wings, They’re Now the Most Expensive Part of the Chicken, Smithsonian Magazine