RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Have you noticed the cost of chicken wings?? They’re become the most expensive chicken item you can buy and that is affecting wing sales in supermarkets as well in restaurants.
Once considered a useless throwaway part of the chicken, wings now cost big bucks. Although chickens can’t fly, the price of their wings has soared to an all-time high.
At grocery stores like Carly C’s in Garner, the increasing price of wings has some shoppers thinking of alternatives to keep their pocketbooks happy.
Sakoria Smallwood says doesn’t buy wings as frequently now. “They have gone up a lot,” she says. “I look for cheaper options at the store rather than buy fresh chickens.”
At the grocery store, if wings are too expensive you can go for alternatives like breasts and drumsticks. But, if you run a wing based restaurant, the price increase is pecking away at the bottom line.
“There’s no way around it right now. Chicken prices are at historic prices,” says Ba Da Wings co-owner Mike McCoy.
Ba-da Wings in Raleigh sells tons of wings, it what they do. For a while, as the price increased, they tried to absorb the cost to keep customers from paying more. But, eventually they had to place a surcharge on their wings because of the continually increasing prices. And, a surcharge might not be the end of it.
McCoy says if the cost keeps increasing so rapidly, they are considering taking the price of wings off their menu and just going with a market price. “Right now though, we’ll stick with the surcharge,” he says.
The price of wings is so high, that some national chains are feeling the pinch.
Buffalo Wild Wings saw its profits drop 63 percent last quarter and its CEO blames it on the historically high levels for the cost of wings.
Chicken wings are hot and not just because they’re fried, everybody wants them.
“There’s so many places serving them, the demand is extremely high,’’ said McCoy.
For example, at least a dozen national franchises sell wings now, as do many national pizza franchises. Add in the scores of local restaurants, bars, and wing joints all over the country and you can see why that just ups the demand.
The bottom line: expect to continuing paying more scratch for your wings because for the foreseeable future, wings prices will continue to stay high.
Email CBS North Carolina’s Steve Sbraccia if you have a consumer issue.