Popularity of Chicken Wings Causes Prices to 'Skyrocket'

The wholesale price of chicken wings rose 39 percent from 2008 to 2009. Why? Mark it up to popularity. Demand puts pressure on supply, so the more restaurants add wings to their menus, the higher the price becomes.

USA Today reported on the skyrocketing price of chicken wings, saying:

'"Chicken wings once were so cheap," says Ken Moran, owner of Rochester, N.Y.'s Jeremiah's Tavern, which has had to increase menu prices twice in the past year. 'It was an attempt to use all the parts of the bird. Now it's reversed. They've gotten pretty crazy in terms of popularity.'

"Wings 'used to be a throwaway item,' says Andy Howard, head of purchasing and product development for the Texas-based Wingstop chain. "The poultry guys couldn't even give it away. Now prices have gone through the roof."'

WTOP Radio in Washington, D.C., said:

"The National Chicken Council says the answer is not to raise more chickens. Producers turned out nine billion birds last year. Overall chicken prices are soft.

"Some restaurants are getting around the wing price hike by offering 'boneless chicken wings" made of breast meat. The profit margin is higher and they attract people who don't like meat they have to pull off bones.' "

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    Al Tompkins

    Al Tompkins is The Poynter Institute’s senior faculty for broadcasting and online. He has taught thousands of journalists, journalism students and educators in newsrooms around the world.

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