America is suffering from a chicken wing surplus thanks to stay-at-home orders that keep citizens out of the bars and restaurants they normally eat them in. Jacob Bogage details the problem in The Washington Post:
American consumers have relatively predictable patterns when it comes to meat consumption. They buy more in the spring and summer, experts note, so they can grill or entertain, or while they’re on vacation. Certain types of meats peak at different time of year: Think turkey on Thanksgiving or ham for Christmas.
But with society in lock down because of the novel coronavirus and the NCAA tournament canceled, that’s left a whole bunch of wings lying around, and now they’ve flooded the market. Ergo, we have a giant national surplus of chicken wings.
“That is fact,” said Will Sawyer, lead animal protein economist at CoBank. “That is real.”
Wings, the most expensive part of the bird, haven’t been this cheap since September 2011, according to U.S. Agriculture Department data. They sold for close to $2 per pound the weekend of the Super Bowl. Now, they sell for half of that.
Poultry producers sold 1.24 million pounds of wings the week the tournament was supposed to start. Last week, they sold 433,000 pounds.