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Jan 29, 2009 7:22 pm US/Eastern
Chicken Wing Shortage Driving Up Prices


Celebrity Snapshots Winter Weather 2009 Show Us Your Shadow On the eve of the annual Wing Bowl, there is a nationwide chicken shortage that is driving up the price of chicken wings.

Like the feeling you get after an incomplete pass, a Super Bowl party without wings can leave you with a bad taste in your mouth.

Wing prices always go up before the Bowl, but this year, the cost of wings has taken flight thanks to a wing shortage across the country.

"Before Christmas, they were $1.29 a pound and now they are up to $1.79, so they have gone up about 50 cents," Cavanaugh's Restaurant and Sports Bar owner Brian Pawliczek said.

At Cavanaugh's, wings are their "bread and butter". On a good night, they can sell 1,600 of them.

This football season, there were a lot of good nights and a huge demand for wings.

"With the New York Giants, the Eagles, Baltimore, there's been a strain on the East Coast," Pawliczek said.

High demand is one thing, but when you mix in the weak economy, the recipe is pretty sour.

Pilgrim's Pride, which supplied one quarter of the country's 24 billion wings last year, filed for bankruptcy protection in December.

The National Chicken Council Board says chicken production is down by 5 percent this year.

But the demand remains the same, and so at Cavanaugh's, the 35 cent wing special is still on the menu. Pawliczek says they'll eat the loss, but keep the wings spicy for a reason.

"With the wings, people have to wash them down with something," Pawliczek said.

Organizers of the Wing Bowl say they have all the wings they need for the event.


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