PICKAWAY – A chicken Wing shortage? News has been covering a lot of the gas shortages from the pipeline shutdown, but almost as important is that you may not be able to get your favorite wings in local restaurants due to a demand for chicken wings.
So how can there be a chicken wing shortage? Did the pandemic cause this? Yes, the pandemic caused a high demand for wings. According to the National Chicken council, servings of chicken wings in restaurants were up by 7 percent in 2020 versus 2019, despite an 11-percent decline in visits to commercial restaurants. Moreover, total U.S. wing retail sales during the pandemic were up 10.3 percent compared to the previous year, and sales of in-store frozen wings shot up by 37.2 percent.
So we didn’t slow down producing the chickens or wings, there’s just been a surge in purchases of the popular wings.
Restaurant business online explains it best, restaurants that serve chicken wings usually have take-out and delivery, that was something during the pandemic that didn’t need to be changed and most people stuck at home took advantage of that. Plus Wings travel well, they don’t taste bad after a 10-30 minute delivery. It’s also very much comfort food and during the pandemic, grocery stores saw an increase in those kinds of foods. Plus a new appliance became mainstream the last few years that offer a better tasting wing without all the greases the air fryer.
Those combinations have increased the price and rarity of bone in/out chicken wings. So much that a local restaurant Baseball’s Dairy Diamond says that they will stop selling bone-in wings for, “the foreseeable future.”
As the pandemic orders are looking to cease next month, this may balance out demand eventually.