Consumer Trends

Wingin' it for the Super Bowl

With Super Bowl Sunday a few days away, there’s only one thing that can be predicted with confidence: Americans are going to eat a ton of chicken wings.

The National Chicken Council  estimates that over 1.25 billion chicken wings will be consumed this upcoming football weekend. Stacked end-to-end, that is long enough to circle the globe—twice. With all this chicken wing madness expected during Super Bowl Sunday, operators are looking to make the most of this delicious opportunity. When weighing out the equation, these are some factors to look at:

  • Expected chicken wing consumption varies by the teams that are vying for those Super Bowl rings. This year, the highest consumption match-up would have been the Baltimore Ravens vs. New York Giants, while the worst would have been the San Francisco 49ers and the New England Patriots. The Giants-Pats match-up falls somewhere in the middle. These results are based on geographic data of chicken wing consumption.
  • Wing-onomics: As the year progresses, the price of chicken wings rises. This is attributed specifically to the coming of the Super Bowl. As the fourth quarter of the fiscal year comes to a close, restaurants stock up for the Super Bowl and prices usually peak in January during the run-up to the big game.
  • Wing-Inspired Events: To encourage chicken wing consumption, clever operators have begun to hold annual events that highlight the famed appetizer. For example, even though the Eagles had no chance for a Super Bowl victory, the City of Brotherly Love will be hosting a bowl of their own—the Wing Bowl. This tradition helps promote chicken wing sales as over 20,000 people come to watch competitors take home the coveted championship trophy.
  • Where Americans Get Their Wings: According to NPD Group, data for the year ending November, 2011 suggests that the top five restaurant categories to order chicken wings throughout the year is as follows: Casual dining restaurants, pizza places, chicken places, mid-priced full service restaurants and food stores.


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