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Chicken Wing Crunch Has Restaurants Scrambling Ahead of Super Bowl

Restaurants contract supply, cut order sizes before Super Bowl



Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
Updated on

There’s a crunch on chicken wings coming ahead of Super Bowl Sunday that has the finger food favorite near all-time high prices for the time of year.

Americans are projected to eat massive amounts of the game day snack, about 1.42 billion wings. That’s tied with last year for a record. But this year, there are signs that getting those volumes to consumers is harder and supplies are tighter. Add to that the turmoil that has been dogging U.S. food supply chains, from labor shortfalls to missing ingredients and soaring costs all around.

Restaurants have been scrambling. Some are getting ready to switch to frozen wings in case they run out of fresh. Others are reducing the number of wings that come in an order. In a sign of the times, companies like the one that owns Chili’s are booking their chicken orders into the summer and beyond to lay claim to whatever’s available.