Created on: January 28, 2013
According to the National Retail Federation, more than 179 million football fans will watch the Super Bowl, which means big business for retailers. It is estimated that the average Super Bowl watcher will spend $68.54 on new televisions, snacks, decor, athletic apparel and snacks, which is up from $63.87 a year ago.
In total, Super Bowl spending is projected to be approximately $12.3 billion.
But as consumers get their favorite football jerseys for Sunday and make a list of food items to buy, they may have to add in a few more dollars to purchase chicken wings, a hot commodity on Super Bowl Sunday.
Each year around this time, the cost of chicken wings increases because restaurants and consumers purchase hoards of them. When the Super Bowl ends, prices usually drop, but last year they did not because of droughts that affected much of the Midwest, which actually drove up prices.
Due to this, the price of chicken farming, and as a result chicken wings, has been steadily going up. The wholesale prices of chicken wings were up 26 percent to $1.90 a pound in December compared to a year earlier. The National Chicken Council (NCC) reports prices are up 14 percent from 2011, the highest its ever been since the United States Department of Agriculture started to record these figures.
Although the droughts were a huge factor, McDonald`s is also a large part to price hikes. The fast food global juggernaut has been testing out a new product called the Mighty Wing, its own menu item of chicken wings that is being tested at 500 locations in Chicago until March. The company has noted that it has no plans to expand the the food option in other cities at this time.
Mitchell Speiser, an analyst who follows the fast food chain for Buckingham Research, told CNN Money that because the fast food chain has 14,000 outlets across the U.S. and its size it could seriously force the price of chicken wings to soar.
McDonald`s is gradually raising its supply of chicken wings as it enters the Chicago market, but it is doing it incrementally in order not to take over the market in such a short period of time.
Ryan Koory, an economist with IHS Global Insights who specializes in agriculture, said in an interview with NBC`s Today that chicken is still a cheaper alternative to beef and pork. He added that if farmers don`t have to deal with a drought this year and if the weather is stable then shoppers may see lower prices toward the end of 2013.
Nevertheless, people are still expected to buy loads of chicken wings. NFL fans are slated to consume 1.23 billion chicken wings during Super Bowl weekend, which is actually down one percent from 2012.
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