Super Bowl LIV, Chicken Wing-Onomics!

The weekend of  “the big game” is here. And you know what that means…chicken wings, of course!

Chicken wings & football. A winning team. A match made in heaven. Power couple.

The National Chicken Council (NCC)  just released its annual Chicken Wing Report (2020), estimating Americans will eat a record-breaking 1.4 billion chicken wings during Super Bowl LIV weekend.

America’s love for wings is surely on the rise, and this year’s projected wing consumption number is a 2 percent increase–or approximately 27 million more wings than last year’s Super Bowl weekend.

Are you picturing this? No. Because 1.4 billion chicken wings is mind-boggling, right? That’s why the NCC created this helpful infographic below.

And did you know that roughly two thirds of Americans (65%) who eat chicken wings, claim they like to do so while watching a major sporting event like the Super Bowl (according to the NCC sponsored, “U.S. Chicken Wing Consumption & Behavior Study,” which was conducted to better understand perceptions of chicken wing consumers)?

Okay, now, the infographic:


Prefer your interesting facts in bullet point form? Granted:

  • 1.4 billion wings could circle the circumference of the Earth 3 times
  • 175 million pounds of wings weigh 1,500 times as much as an entire NFL team and three of their team busses
  • If each wing were one second, it would equal 45 years

A brief (very brief) history of the buffalo chicken wing, as we know it

Although wings have long been a Southern staple,  the idea of cooking wings in “buffalo” hot sauce seems to have emerged circa 1964 in, yes, Buffalo, NY.  Sports bars became more and more common in America (multiple TVs! Satellite! TVs are cheaper!). People like to gather with friends at bars, watch football, and drink beer together.

As it happens, the chicken wing was a perfect addition to that equation. It’s cheap, shareable, a “group food,” and it makes people want to drink more beer (because with all that chicken wing eating, you work up a thirst and that makes more mullah for bar owners!) Allegedly, this also leads to more babies being conceived among fans celebrating their team’s victory (the so-called Super Bowl baby phenom).

In sum

A good weekend and lucrative times, indeed, for the chicken industry, restaurants, grocery stores, celery shlockers, bleu cheese outfitters, and those employed on behalf of them  (not so much for chickens). Also, chicken wing lovers!

So, let’s raise a chicken wing (or cauliflower/tempeh/”Impossible” wing thing) and toast to some serious marketing genius.