Chicken Wings: Prices Down, Storage Up
With the Super Bowl around the corner and egg price inflation on everyone’s minds, we wondered what was happening with chicken wings.
Chicken Wing Prices in 2023
Figure 1 shows a four-week rolling average of U.S. retail price for chicken wings. Throughout 2019 and 2020, wing prices were between $2.50 and $3.00 per pound. However, in 2021 prices increased and regularly exceeded $3.50 per pound. In spring 2022, the rolling average price hit a high of $3.90 per pound.
Throughout the last half of 2022, however, wing prices fell. By November and December, prices dipped below $2.50 per pound, which are some of the lowest levels observed in the last four years.
At the end of January 2023, the four-week rolling average retail price was $2.70 per pound. For comparison, wing prices a year before were $3.49. This is to say that retail chicken wing prices ahead of this year’s Super Bowl are 22% lower than a year ago.
Cold Storage Trends
The USDA also reports monthly data on the quantity of chicken wings in cold storage (Figure 2). At the end of December 2022, inventories were more than 82 million pounds, a four-year high. Furthermore, current inventories are more than double the low levels observed in early 2021.
Wrapping It Up
One of the biggest challenges with inflation is that prices don’t change uniformly. Inflation might average 6% or 7% throughout the economy, but the price change for specific products can vary widely. For example, egg prices are historically high, while chicken wings prices are lower than a year ago.
In the meantime, we hope lower prices and higher cold storage levels provide some good news for your Super Bowl party.