US Set to Consume 1.25 Billion Buffalo Wings on Super Bowl Sunday

US - Americans are set to eat 1.25 billion chicken wings for Super Bowl XLVIII, which takes place on Sunday 2 February, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Buffalo Wings and the end of the 'Great Wing Shortage' of 2013.
calendar icon 23 January 2014
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First Lady Michelle Obama is not the only one turning 50 this year. 2014 also marks the 50th anniversary of the first “Buffalo Wing” being sauced and tossed at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York, according to the National Chicken Council.

With the second biggest eating day of the year after Thanksgiving – Super Bowl Sunday – upon us, there is no hotter time of year for chicken wings, which have become a staple food of Super Bowl parties in the United States.

According to the National Chicken Council’s '2014 Wing Report', 1.25 billion wings will be devoured during Super Bowl XLVIII, as fans watch the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos battle for the Lombardi Trophy, matching the record level of 2012. That is about 20 million more wings than were consumed last year during Super Bowl XLVII.

To put that into perspective, if 1.25 billion wing segments were laid end to end, they would stretch from CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Washington to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey (home of Super Bowl XLVIII) - 30 times. That is enough wings to put 572 wings on every seat in all 32 NFL stadiums.

Bill Roenigk, chief economist and market analyst at the Washington, DC-based National Chicken Council, explains that the increase in consumption coincides with an increase in chicken production linked to increasing consumer demand and decreasing feed costs.

He explained: “The National Chicken Council estimates about four percent more chicken will be produced this year compared to last. More chickens mean a bigger supply of wings and more favorable prices this year for consumers. Based off of current supermarket features, consumers can expect to pay around five percent less than last January for wings.

“This means that the ‘Great Wing Shortage’ of 2013, that never really was, is officially over. Sports fans can enjoy this affordable luxury even more this year.”

Corn makes up more than two-thirds of chicken feed and corn prices hit an all-time high in the fourth quarter of 2012, due to two reasons: the record drought in the Midwest in the Summer of 2012 and the ensuing pressure on corn prices from a continued federal government requirement that mandates 40 per cent of the US corn crop be turned into fuel in the form of ethanol.

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