Chicken Wing Prices Soar While Breasts Sag

While many bars and restaurants continue to offer cheap chicken wings as an enticement to get diners and drinkers in the door, the demand for the little bits of bird has increased so much in the last decade that wholesale costs for wings have more than doubled.

According to the Dept. of Agriculture, wings were wholesaling at $.68/pound 10 years ago. These days, wholesalers are charging around $1.47/pound for wings.

“Every time that there is Christmas, wings go up,” says Ivano Toscani of the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, NY, where Buffalo wings were first made. The restaurant says they go through about a ton of wings each day. “Super Bowl, wings go up — but the problem is they never come down. They go up and they stay there.”

While prices for wings have soared, the price for chicken breasts have decreased.

“As pricey as chicken wings have been getting until quite recently, they are not enough to carry the bird, so to speak,” Richard Lobb, spokesperson for the National Chicken Council explained. “I think what you’re seeing in the United States is the trend toward boneless wings.”

Don’t tell that to Toscani, who holds true to his chicken wing ways.

“The wings have bones on it, you can’t get away with it,” Toscani said. “The other people they change, they do what they want to do, they want their own identity, they want to establish themself, God bless them, do you what you have to do. Here at the Anchor Bar, we will continue to use chicken wings, and chicken wings has bones, that’s all.”

Don’t know about you, but I suddenly feel a deep desire to devour some wings. Now.

Hot Wings’ Pain Now Felt By Restaurants, Too [NPR]