Demand for traditional chicken wings rose despite U.S. restaurants promoting a boneless variety to counter higher prices.
Bone-in wings “dominate” and made up 64 percent, or 1.1 billion servings, of all wings sold by restaurants in the 12 months ended September, research firm NPD Group, based in Port Washington, New York, said Wednesday in a report titled “The Chicken Wing Dilemma.” Traditional-wing servings rose 6 percent, while the boneless variety fell by the same percentage. Most munchers “are super fans who stick with one type,” regardless of price, Bonnie Riggs, NPD’s restaurant-industry analyst, said in an email.
The popularity of the finger food, which has gone beyond football season, spurred an expansion of themed restaurants and led pizzerias, sandwich shops and grocery stores to add wings to their offerings. The traditional variety remains popular even though many restaurants boosted menu prices and began offering boneless wings, which are usually chunks of white meat doused in familiar sauces and spices. As part of cost-cutting efforts, Buffalo Wild Wings Inc. has been relying more on boneless wings to sidestep a price surge for the traditional variety in the past few years.
—With assistance from Craig Giammona
©2018 Bloomberg L.P.
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