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FOR THE WING

How many chicken wings are consumed on Super Bowl Sunday?

A crowd cheers on competitors in a wing eating competition. The participants are covered in sauce.
REUTERS/Mark Makela
It’s time to eat the wings
  • David Yanofsky
By David Yanofsky

Editor of code, visuals, and data

Published

Americans are set to eat a record number of chicken wings while watching Super Bowl LVII (and commercials) slated for Sunday, Feb. 13. The National Chicken Council estimates Americans will consume 1.42 billion wings while the Cincinnati Bengals play the Los Angeles Rams during football’s biggest game of the year in Los Angeles County’s City of Inglewood.

Americans continue to consume more chicken wings during the Super Bowl

It’s the first time since 2015 the Council projected no growth in wing eating. This weekend’s expected total is the same amount the poultry lobbyist estimated were consumed during last year’s championship football game. Nonetheless, Super Bowl wing consumption has risen an average of 1.1% per year according to the estimates.

But chicken wing prices are higher than last year

The Council says that there is no shortage of wings right now but prices may be higher than typical. The price of chicken wings in the week prior to the Super Bowl rose 2.59% from an average of $2.93 per pound last year to $2.98 this year. Nationally, prices of all goods and services have risen 7.5% in the last year.

Chicken wings prices are typically more expensive around the Super Bowl

Wings are generally most expensive around the beginning of the year when the Super Bowl is usually played, according to Department of Agriculture (USDA) data. Retail prices peak each winter in the US, and then fall to their lowest levels during the spring and summer. Sales of wings in the US have been shown to spike in the days leading up to the Super Bowl.

The chicken wing supply has recovered since 2021

Stocks of frozen wings in the US are well above what they were last year. Data from the USDA show that the amount of frozen chicken wings in warehouses has risen from 36.7 million lb (16.6 million kg) immediately ahead of last year’s Super Bowl to 73.2 million lb at the end of December 2021—the most recently released figures. Early in the pandemic, production was constrained, while demand grew as Americans turned to take-out food. Warehouse stocks of wings shrank.

The abundance of wings this year means Americans will have their choice of flavors while watching the game. For many, the perfect wing recipe may be Buffalo. For others, it’s barbecue, and some prefer teriyaki. But if you want Los Angeles foodie flavor in honor of the Rams or the venue, you’ll need to whip up the hey-ha party wings from Los Angeles mainstay Night + Market.

Pass the fish sauce.

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