Although the coronavirus pandemic has changed many things in our lives, it hasn’t changed our love of comfort foods, especially chicken wings.
This year’s Super Bowl – set to take place Sunday, February 7 between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers – will see Americans consume a record 1.42 billion chicken wings during the game, says the National Chicken Council. This figure is up 2% from last year, according to the NCC’s annual Wing Report.
“If you think about it, restaurants like wing joints and pizza places were built around takeout and delivery, so they didn't have to change their business model that much during the pandemic,” says National Chicken Council spokesman Tom Super. “Wings travel well and hold up during delivery conditions. Plus, they align with consumer desire for comfort food during the pandemic. Chicken production remained steady in 2020, and as long as people are sitting around watching TV and maybe drinking a beer, wings will remain in the game. Don’t forget the air fryer revolution, either.”
According to The NPD Group, servings of chicken wings were up 7% in restaurants in 2020 compared to 2019 despite an 11% decline in trips to commercial restaurants over the same time period. For foodservice establishments that offer wings, the upcoming Super Bowl is an excellent opportunity to showcase this popular product.