Americans to Eat 1.3 Billion Chicken Wings this Super Bowl Sunday

US - According to the National Chicken Council’s 2016 Wing Report released today, 1.3 billion wings will be eaten next weekend leading up to and during Super Bowl 50, as fans watch the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos battle for the Lombardi Trophy.
calendar icon 2 February 2016
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That figure is up 3 per cent, or 37.5 million wings, from last year’s big game.

It comes as no surprise that chicken wings have become a staple on Super Bowl menus as Americans’ demand for them continues to soar.

1.3 billion chicken wings is enough for every man, woman and child in the United States to have four wings each.

“Any way you measure it, that’s a lot of freaking wings,” noted Tom Super, senior vice president of communications at the National Chicken Council.

Where will Americans get their wings?

The National Chicken Council estimates that of the wings eaten during the Super Bowl, 75 per cent will come from food service outlets and 25 per cent from retail grocery stores. According to CHD Expert’s foodservice database, Easy2FIND, over 300 new Chicken Wing restaurants opened in 2015, including more than 30 in December 2015.

According to CHD, the top five chicken wing chains in the United States in terms of number of units and market share are Wingstop (44 per cent), Pizza Hut’s WingStreet (25 per cent), Hurricane Grill & Wings (6 per cent), Wow Café & Wingery (4 per cent), and Wing Zone (4 per cent). As for Buffalo Wild Wings, their 1,100+ full service restaurants with full bar, are classified as a Bar & Grill, however be assured there are plenty of wings on the menu.

Chicken wings sold at grocery stores and supermarkets skew towards households with three people or more, younger Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, and females 35-54, according to IRI FreshLook Household Panel Data. “Each one of these categories presents an attractive target for retailers,” Mr Super noted.


The average price (wholesale, not retail) of whole wings is currently about $1.78/lb, down from around $2.oo/lb at the same time last year, according to the Daily Northeast Broiler/Fryer Report by the US Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture Marketing Service.

Wing prices traditionally go up in the fourth quarter of the year as restaurants and supermarkets stock up for the Super Bowl, and prices usually peak in January during the run-up to the big game.

“A chicken only has two wings; therefore, the supply of wings is limited by the total number of chickens produced,” Mr Super pointed out.

“Chicken production last year was up around four per cent, and USDA is predicting another two-plus per cent increase in 2016. So an increase in supply, coupled with exports being down, means there are more wings on the market trying to find a home; and hence, at a lower price.”

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