Americans celebrated National Chicken Wing Day this past Saturday, July 29. Ironically, as chains across the country doled out free wings to celebrating patrons, prices were hitting a record high.
The Washington Post reports that wholesale prices for one of America’s favorite bar snacks have been on the rise for months. One chef in Maryland told The Post that this year, he’s paying $2.90 per pound rather than $1.80 last year, which adds up to a nearly 60% markup. Sports-themed chain Buffalo Wild Wings saw profits slump 63% in this year’s second quarter.
To lessen the financial burden, restaurants and chefs are opting to promote boneless chicken wings instead. Buffalo Wild Wings announced that it will switch its Tuesday half-price wing deal to boneless wings. Consumers have already been mass-ordering the bite-sized pieces of fried chicken breast due to their lower cost. They even eclipsed regular wings in sales last year at over 1,200 Buffalo Wild Wings locations, according to The Post.
The Post also reports that prices are rising due to popular demand. Back in April, Bloomberg reported that supply has slowed a bit due to drought conditions which made chicken feed more expensive, leading poultry producers to slow production.
Chicken wings used to be unloved by masses, making for cheap eats. Now thanks to sporting events like the Super Bowl, wings are now a national favorite, and the most expensive cut of the bird, according to The Post.