Rumor: Super Bowl 2013 Wing Shortage

Posted on January 25, 2013

ABC News reports on the rumor that there could be a chicken wing shortage during Super Bowl weekend. The National Chicken Council (NCC) reports that 1.23 billion wings will be consumed on the day of the big game. The NCC also says chicken companies produced 1% less chickens in 2012.

Bill Roenigk, NCC chief economist, says in a statement, "Chicken companies produced about one percent fewer birds last year, due in large part to record high corn and feed prices. 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."

U.S. News reports that less chickens being produced is more likely to result in higher prices than a wing shortage.

The NCC also acknowledged this: "A chicken has two wings, and chicken companies are not able to produce wings without the rest of the chicken. Therefore, the supply of wings is limited by the total number of chickens produced. When the demand for wings is stronger than the demand for other chicken parts, the price of wings will go up, as it has this past year."

ABC News says none of the wing restaurant chains they spoke with anticipate problems.

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