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Opinion
Justin Fox

America May Have Eaten Its Fill of Chicken Wings

The pandemic boom in wings delivery is a story of demand, supply and a bar in Buffalo, New York.

There are plenty of chicken wings now.

There are plenty of chicken wings now.

Photographer: Jeff Fusco/Getty Images

When Americans were confronted with the worst pandemic in more than a century, they reacted in some surprising ways. One was to order lots of chicken wings.

U.S. same-store sales at Wingstop Inc., a chain with a strong takeout and delivery game even before Covid-19, rose 31.9% in the second quarter of 2020 over the same period a year earlier, and 21.4% for the full year. As other fast-food purveyors and new-style “ghost kitchens” got in on the wings action, wholesale chicken wing prices more than doubled in 12 months.