Wing King: NFL Lockout Could Have Devastating Consequences for Chicken Wing Industry

Tue, Mar 15, 2011 at 6:13 pm ET

Kissed With Apocalypse, NFL

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NFL Lockout could destroy the chicken wing industryIn a week that’s seen many media outlets chastised — however unfairly — for prioritizing something like the pending NFL lockout over other, completely unrelated human interest stories, I must say it’s quite refreshing to come across an examination of something sharing at least some semblance of a contextual connection.

Namely, chickens. More specifically, their ubiquitous, extremely tasty wings.

Yes, Joe Sanderson of Sanderson Farms, Inc. — the nation’s largest supplier of chicken wings to food services groups such as Sysco and U.S. Foods — claims that a NFL lockout “would kill wings; it would be terrible on wings.

Indeed, when one thinks of the sheer amount of chicken wings, tenders, and boneless wing bites likely consumed supplementary to a typical NFL season, it’s easy to imagine just how disastrous a lockout could be to what’s probably the marquee foodstuff of America’s most popular professional sport.

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It would be very bad for chicken wings and I do not know to what extent it would be bad for other products they sell in those watering holes or sports bars. It would not be good, I’d tell you that,” Sanderson added at the Reuters Global Food and Agriculture Summit on Monday.

In fact, according to a Yahoo! Sports (UK & Ireland) article:

Wholesale prices for chicken wings in Georgia were $1.04 (64.3p) per pound just ahead of this year’s big game, down from $1.74 per pound a year earlier. This week, wing prices plunged to 95 cents per pound, according to US Department of Agriculture data.

So it appears the ill-effects are already being felt.

Perhaps this should be brought up during the next wave of negotiations. Sure, one party to the NFL lockout may be losing a couple $100 million over the course of several years, but how forgiving will the league’s most important cog — NFL fans — be  knowing they no longer have a convenient rationalization for the millions of calories once allotted for the mighty chicken wing?

And that’s assuming the great wing special at one’s favorite sports bar is still being offered on those sacred Fall and Winter Sunday afternoons/evenings — not to mention that said establishment is even open for business…


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  1. Finally, A Positive Spin on the Pending NFL Lockout: Less Domestic Violence? | Frumpzilla: Sports, Entertainment and Social Commentary from Unprofessional, Highly Irresponsible Sources - March 22, 2011

    […] bailing on church and/or home improvement projects; losing Fantasy Football; and, of course, the collapse of the chicken wing industry are all, by all means, unsettling, at least we can all take comfort in the fact that domestic life […]

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