Chicken wings are in high demand ahead of Super Bowl Sunday

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Posted at 3:26 PM, Feb 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-14 06:37:16-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Americans are anticipated to devour 1.42 billion wings while watching the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams battle in the Super Bowl.

According to National Chicken Council Wing, sales in Cincinnati have seen a 27.6% growth during the NFL playoffs and Los Angeles a 37.3% increase compared to the same period last year.

But wings are in high demand, making the cost a little more pricey.

Wholesale wing prices are down 19% from their high of May 2021, according to USDA data.

Retail wing prices are up about $0.30 per pound on average from the same time last year.

"The prices have definitely hiked, and of course, we have to we have to hike our prices, but we have tried to be really good about it and not go too far," said Landon Allen, Smokin Thigh's general manager.

The National Chicken Council said the price of chicken wings has increased because of unusually high demand, record input costs, labor shortages that have reduced the supply of many goods and government spending programs that have flooded the economy.

Restaurants like Smokin Thighs in Nashville are feeling the pinch.

Allen said they're known for their chicken — even winning best wings in Nashville this year by Lord of the Wings competition.

"When you are a chicken place, and we have literally had times where we didn't know if we could get chicken thighs and your name is Smokin Thighs, sometimes gets a little scary," Allen said.

Allen said they were paying twice the amount for their product when it comes to wings. He said thighs are up three times as much as they were three years ago before the pandemic.

Despite this news, Allen said they have plenty of wings and are actually selling less this year before the Super Bowl than last year.