By Barry Janoff
January 28, 2016: In what was called the "second biggest eating day of the year after Thanksgiving," food brands, restaurants, fast-feeders, supermarkets and convenience stores are getting ready for a flock of consumer and fan activity on Super Bowl Sunday.
Among the food intake, 1.3 billion wings will be eaten next weekend leading up to and during Super Bowl 50, enough for every man, woman and child in the United States to have four wings each.
That figure is up 3%, or 37.5 million wings, from Super Bowl XLIX last year, according to the National Chicken Council, Washington, DC.
That comes in at about 162.5 million pounds of wings, 6,325 times more than the combined weights of the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos combined 52-man rosters.
For those looking for a chicken wing-based prediction, during the current NFL post-season, the team from the city with higher wing sales won seven of the 10 playoff games.
That also holds true for four of the five past Super Bowl games, according to the National Chicken Council's 2016 Wing Report.
Which means the Panthers will beat the Broncos, as the sale of chicken wings in Charlotte is three times that of Denver, per the National Chicken Council.
"Follow the chicken," Tom Super (no relation to the Super Bowl), svp-communications for the National Chicken Council, said in a statement.
Laid end to end, 1.3 billion wings would stretch from the Panthers Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC, to Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver almost 53 times.
In addition, it would mean that someone could put more than 600 chicken wings on every seat in all 31 NFL stadiums.
"Any way you measure it, that's a lot of freaking wings," said Super.
According to the National Chicken Council, the price of chicken wings "traditionally go up in the fourth quarter of the year as restaurants and supermarkets stock up for the Super Bowl, and prices usually peak in January during the run-up to the Big Game."
"A chicken only has two wings; therefore, the supply of wings is limited by the total number of chickens produced," said Super.
The National Chicken Council estimates that of the wings eaten during the Super Bowl, 75% would come from food service outlets and 25% from retail grocery stores.
The top five chicken wing chains in the U.S. in terms of number of units and market share are Wingstop (44%), Pizza Hut's WingStreet (25%), Hurricane Grill & Wings (6%), Wow Café & Wingery (4%) and Wing Zone (4%), per the National Chicken Council.
Buffalo Wild Wings is not included in this list, according to the Nation Chicken Council, because their 1,100+ full service restaurants with full bar are classified as a Bar & Grill.
Chicken wings sold at grocery stores and supermarkets skew towards households with three people or more, younger Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, and females 35-54, said the National Chicken Council, citing research from the IRI FreshLook (Charlotte) Household Panel Data.
"Each one of these categories presents an attractive target for retailers," said Super.
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