2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the first “Buffalo Wing” in America, a food which has since 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, about 20 million more wings than were consumed last year.
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.
“The National Chicken Council estimates about 4% more chicken will be produced this year compared to last,” explained Roenigk.
“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.”
The price of corn, which makes up more than two-thirds of chicken feed, 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% of the US corn crop be turned into fuel in the form of ethanol.
The National Chicken Council estimates that of the wings eaten during the Super Bowl, 75% will come from food service outlets and 25% from retail grocery stores. According to Nielsen Perishables Group FreshFacts data, both fresh and prepared wings totaled $1.7 billion in sales at stores covered in their system for the 52 weeks ending November 30, 2013, an increase of 6.4% compared to a year earlier.