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Chicken wing prices are down 22% ahead of Super Bowl

overhead view of four different flavored chicken wings with ranch dressing, beer, and celery sticks
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It’s a chicken or egg question. Why are egg prices still high while chicken wing prices are falling?

Just in time for Super Bowl parties, a new consumer price report from Wells Fargo using U.S. Department of Agriculture data reveals that chicken wing costs are down. The national average weekly retail price for chicken wings as of Jan. 6, 2023, was $2.65 a pound, down 22% from $3.38 per pound a year ago.

Meanwhile, the price of eggs jumped to an all-time high just weeks ago, although it dropped in more recent data. The average retail price of eggs was $4 per dozen as of Jan. 20, compared to $1.93 a dozen in January 2022, according to Oklahoma State University Extension Specialist Randy Holcomb, using statistics from USDA. According to USDA data, it dropped 58 cents at the end of January to $3.29 a dozen.

That’s the problem regarding food prices: some items may cost less while others continue to rise.

Busiest day of the year

Super Bowl Sunday is traditionally the busiest day of the year for Salvatore’s Pizza, a chain of 32 pizza and wings shops in western New York with expansion into the Florida market this year. CEO Salvatore “Soccer Sam” Fantauzzo is preparing for a busy day into the evening.

“It’s always busy on Super Bowl Sunday,” said Fantauzzo, adding that the Buffalo wings with blue cheese are a fan favorite in Buffalo Bills country.

While chicken wing prices may have fallen, everything else is up, he said.

Butter is almost triple in price from a year ago, and paper product prices have climbed as well, Fantauzzo said.

As for the wings, because Salvatore’s only uses fresh wings, the prices should go up this weekend due to demand, Fantauzzo noted. But once the price drops the week after, he will probably offer specials such as a 10 wings for $10 deal. That’s a far cry from the chicken wing shortage of 2021.

Inflation rising

Football fans may save some money on wings, particularly if they’re frozen, but sky-high inflation remains in place. According to the Wells Fargo agricultural economics team, food costs have increased 11.8% from a year ago. It won’t be cheap to throw that Super Bowl party.

There are some items you can save on, said Michael Swanson, Wells Fargo’s chief agricultural economist. Get that guacamole recipe out. With a substantial supply of avocados from Mexico, prices have fallen 20% compared to a year ago. The question will be how to dip into that guacamole.

“As far as chips, fans are still favoring tortilla and potato chips as demand climbed in 2022 despite double-digit price increases since 2021,” Swanson said. “And we’re going to call out the year of the do-it-yourself veggie trays making a comeback, as consumers seek lower per unit prices against pre-packaged or ready-to-eat options.”

Swanson said that for folks who are watching their budgets this year, there are a few bright spots to save this Super Bowl Sunday. You should look for wing bargains at the grocery store or restaurant and add guacamole to the table with avocado-focused appetizers.

By Mary Chao, Scripps News

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