Wholesale prices of chicken wings are hitting record highs, leaving restaurants to choose between raising prices, or cutting portions. The Wall Street Journal reports that Americans ate more than one billion restaurant orders of chicken wings in the 12 months that ended in June, and that’s not even counting the wings eaten at home.
America’s appetite for chicken wings has been a bright spot for casual-dining restaurants, but wholesale prices for chicken wings have climbed by almost 20 percent, to a record $2.09 a pound in August for jumbo whole wings.
Buffalo Wild Wings says costs are at a “historic high” and the company’s earnings have dropped 60 percent while menu prices remain steady. Demand for chicken wings usually takes off in fall and doesn’t let up until spring, after college basketball’s March Madness ends. Restaurants like Buffalo Wild Wings are encouraging consumers to opt for cheaper boneless wings, because they are actually made from chicken breast.