Photo: goodiesfirst via flickr
It’s still too early for the effects of this year’s once-in-a-generation drought to be fully reckoned,.
But John Davie, the head of Dining Alliance, an association representing hundreds of independently owned bars and restaurants around the country, says his suppliers have told him this year’s poultry flock cull is going to be so massive that there may not be enough chicken and buffalo wings to make it through the Super Bowl.
“There are going to be operators who won’t get certain sizes, certain products,” he said.
The price of chicken wings stands at $1.825 for regular sized and $1.78 for jumbo sized — both near all-time highs, Davie says.
He’s received a flood of inquiries from currently independent restaurateurs to join his alliance to leverage their pricing power.
“If we can contract for six months of the year, it takes some of the heat off peak” prices, he said.
According to a poultry industry source who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the drought comes as farmers transition to producing larger birds but smaller flocks.
That makes sense economically, but is bad news for wing lovers (until nature comes up with a six-legged chicken).
If the wing crunch becomes truly severe, he said, expect restaurants to start adding more boneless wings to the menu.
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