The Van Trump Report

Americans Love Their Chicken Wings

Americans are expected to eat 1.45 billion chicken wings and drumsticks during  Super Bowl LVIII this Sunday, according to the National Chicken Council (NCC). To provide some reference, 1.45 billion wings is enough for every man, woman, and child in the United States to eat four wings each, or enough to put 693 wings on every seat of every NFL stadium. Unfortunately, chicken wing prices are going to be a bit higher for the consumer this year than last.

According to NCC, wings started gaining greater popularity in the 1980s when U.S. consumers started preferring boneless-skinless breast meat, and wings became an inexpensive byproduct for chicken producers. Restaurants and bars realized they could charge low prices for the relatively inexpensive protein. As a bonus, due to the spicy/salty nature of a typical wing sauce, they also discovered that wings helped beer sales go through the roof! At the same time, sports bars with multiple TVs and satellite dishes were becoming increasingly common, and the most popular sporting event to watch with friends in bars is football. (Sources: National Chicken Council, National Retail Federation, Texas A&M AgriLife)
The story is selling “chicken wing’s” actually started in the mid-1960s in Buffalo, New York, when Teressa Bellissimo, the owner of a small bar called Anchor Bar, began serving them on late, busy nights inside her establishment. Basically, she served leftover wings deep-fried, tossed in a spicy sauce, and accompanied by celery sticks and blue cheese dressing. She called them “Buffalo Wings” because she was from Buffalo NY and this was her style for cooking and serving them. Little did she know that her creative solution would become a phenomenon and transform the chicken wing from an often-discarded part to a centerpiece of American cuisine. The Buffalo Wing’s popularity quickly spread, turning this previously overlooked dish into a prized item on menus nationwide. In conclusion, the rise of chicken wings in American cuisine is a tale of creativity, community, and shared experiences. They are also often called hot wings, chicken wings, or just wings.
A few more fun wing stats from NCC:

  • Americans are more likely to prefer eating bone-in, traditional wings (53%) than “boneless wings.”
  • Two in five (38%) Americans say that the breast is their favorite cut of chicken, but wings (20%) are second.
  • While there are a variety of wing sauces to choose from, BBQ (52%), ranch (46%), and buffalo/hot sauce (41%) are preferred.
  • French fries are by far the preferred side for wings (72%), distantly followed by celery (14%). 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *