April 10, 2020

Joey Chestnut’s dream come true: We’re chock full of cheap chicken wings

Drumettes and flats haven’t been this cheap in almost a decade.

March was supposed to be a big month at B-Dubs.

Demand for chicken wings flaps and falls with the rhythms of the sports world. When Super Bowl Sunday and March Madness roll around, fans beat the drum(ette) for more blazin’ buffalo. (Mr. Chestnut, for those who know him for hot dogs, is also a wing-eating champ.)

The wing slingers at Buffalo Wild Wings were getting spicy for this year’s NCAA tournament: The company ran a promotion for people to sleep inside a B-Dubs outpost and binge on basketball and bleu cheese.

They dubbed it BnB-Dubs (eat your boneless heart out, Airbnb). Then, right as the contest ended, March Madness got canceled.

Dry those hot-sauce stained tears…

…for you may never see a cheaper wing. Or more of them on the shelves.

  • Chick-onomic data show that wings haven’t been this cheap since September of 2011.
  • They’re now selling for about half of what they were at Super Bowl time (almost $2 per pound back in early February).
  • Last week, poultry producers sold ~800k fewer pounds of wings (433k) than they did the week that March Madness was scheduled to tip off (1.24m).

There’s an explanation for this precipitous poultry plunge: Wings aren’t the prime cut for most home cooks — they usually reach for breasts, thighs, and legs first.

Sending wings packed for food service to the supermarket isn’t easy — restaurants buy them in bulk containers, which are harder for us to store and handle.

That’s how our national wing surplus was hatched.

Meanwhile, back at B-Dubs…

…people are coping with the lack of basketball as best they can. In-home dunk contest, anyone?

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