Super Bowl: Chicken Wing Shortage Could Ruin Super Bowl XLVII

Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports /
Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports /

We’re less than two weeks away from the biggest day in professional football but the drama surrounding the game has already started. But this drama has nothing to do with Ray Lewis’ final game or the Harbaugh brothers squaring off in the ultimate sibling showdown. Rather the drama surrounds the fact that when you go to your Super Bowl party, and you ask for the chicken wings, they might not be there.

The National Chicken Council released a report that stated the demand for wings this year is at “an all-time high” and that they are lowering the estimated number of wings to be consumed this year by over 12 million.

Due to the high cost of corn and feed prices, chicken companies produced 1 percent fewer birds than last year, meaning we have a chicken wing shortage on our hands this year. Huffington Post reported that the supermarket cost of a pound of chicken rose in cost by over $1.97 from last year’s price. So that chicken you bought last year at $0.55/per pound is now going to cost you a whopping $2.52/per pound.

“Chicken companies produced about 1 percent fewer birds last year, due in large part to record high corn and feed prices,” Said Bill Roenigk, chief economist and market analyst at the Washington, D.C.-based National Chicken Council.  “Corn makes up more than two-thirds of chicken feed and corn prices hit an all-time high in 2012, due to two reasons:  last summer’s drought and pressure from a federal government requirement that mandates 40 percent of our corn crop be turned into fuel in the form of ethanol.  Simply put, less corn equals higher feed costs, which means fewer birds produced.”

Basically, if you thought Y2K and the 2012 Mayan thing was a big deal, that’s child’s play compared to the great wing scare of 2013.

So the best plan this year if you’re throwing a Super Bowl party seems to be buying them in bulk from Buffalo Wild Wings or any number of the other wing joints in this country. However, experts say no matter where you get your chicken, there is still a shortage, which means if you head out last-minute to get your wings, you may be stuck wing-less.

“If you’re planning to cook your own wings, I wouldn’t advise being in line at the supermarket two hours before kickoff,” Roenigk said.

Usually it was cheaper to buy your own wings and sauce and do it all at home, but the rising cost of wings due to the shortage of chickens means the drama this year surrounding the Super Bowl isn’t just confined the field of play.