Image courtesy of Wingstop
National Chicken Wing Day occurs over the summer, but it would seem that it would be more appropriate for the winter. Many football and other sports parties occur during this time of year, and the popular snack is common for groups both big and small.
The NFL’s championship game will be the biggest day of the year for wings sales. Americans will consume nearly 1.5 billion chicken wings that day alone. While major retailers like Buffalo Wild Wings and Wingstop will make a big play to supply these crowds, your bakery can look to provide its own unique takes on the classic dish.
Using the major retailers as an example, you can develop chicken wing flavors that excite your customers. Wingstop introduced a new flavor early last year called Smoke 9, a mesquite dry rub with sweet garlic and spices that come together for a bold smoky flavor. “Smoke 9 is named for the nine iterations we went through in order to perfect this flavor,” says Larry Bellah, Wingstop’s director of flavor innovation. “Our fans love the Wingstop brand because of the bold, unique flavors we offer. So when we create a new sauce we work hard to ensure it is authentic and different from anything else on our menu.”
The flavor was only on Wingstop’s menu for a short time, which built up buzz and convinced customers to take advantage of its brief availability.
Garlic is a popular inclusion in sauce flavors. Take Buffalo Wild Wings for example. Its latest sauce option, Kickin’ Honey Garlic, combines garlic with brown sugar, honey, vinegar, molasses, and habanero to create a sweet, yet spicy flavor.
Recently retired flavors from the Buffalo Wild Wings Sauce Lab include Sriracha Sizzle, which allowed customers to experience the uniquely popular flavor in rare form; Big Easy Bourbon Honey Mustard, sweet and spicy, made with real bourbon; Salted Caramel BBQ; and Chipotle Cherry Sting, a delicious contradiction.
So how does your bakery pick the right chicken wing flavors to offer? It depends on each bakery and what your customers prefer. Take notice of popular flavors of other products, and see if those can be incorporated into a mouthwatering sauce.
As we see with many foods and beverages, chicken wings can be enjoyed throughout the year but have seasonality to them. Cold weather months make for great opportunities to provide a little extra warmth to your offerings.