By Glenn Townes
glenn.townes@njurbannews.com

When it comes to chicken, the coronavirus doesn’t stand a chance. Millions of pandemic plagued people will be scarfing down a big plate of chicken wings on Sunday. According to a study released last week by the National Chicken Council (NCC)—a Washington DC-based think tank, Americans will devour 1.4 billion pieces of spicy, barbecued, or honey-dipped pieces of wings during the upcoming Super Bowl weekend—a Washington DC-based think tank.

The defending Super Bowl champs, the Kansas City Chiefs—headed by dynamic young superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes hope to tackle and bury veteran Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. According to statistics, the number of people munching on wingettes is up about 2 percent from last year.

“If you think about it, restaurants like wing joints and pizza places were built around takeout and delivery, so they didn’t have to change their business model that much during the pandemic,” said NCC spokesperson Tom Super. In a release, Super said, “Wings travel well and hold up during delivery conditions, and they align with consumer desire for comfort food during the pandemic.” The NCC survey revealed that despite COVID restrictions at grocery stores, die-hard wing eaters remained loyal to poultry—specifically chicken wings. More than a quarter of survey respondents said they ate more chicken wings during the pandemic than before.

While the coronavirus has disrupted thousands of industries in the past year, retail/supermarket sales during the pandemic’s peak points remained steady and increased by nearly $3 billion—about 10 percent from the same time one year ago. And the in-store frozen wing category sales jumped by more than 30 percent, according to Information Resources Inc (IRI), a Chicago based research and data analysis company. Retailers said the jump in wing sales might be attributable to an increase in the sale of air fryers—a device that expedites the cooking of more than a dozen of crispy morsels in less than 20 minutes.

Some fun facts about chicken wings and Super Bowl LV:

*If the average person ate three wings per minute, it would take him more than 900 years to eat 1.42 billion wings.
*1.42 billion wings could circle the circumference of the Earth 3 times.
*If 1.42 billion wings are laid end to end, they would stretch 19 times from Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fl—host stadium of Super Bowl LV.
*While there are a variety of wing sauces to choose from, BBQ, ranch, and buffalo/hot sauce are the most preferred
*French fries are the preferred side dish for wings, followed by celery sticks.

Lastly, in New Jersey, some grocery store retailers are prepped and ready to serve Super Bowl fans. Anthony Sanfilippo, store director of McCaffrey’s Market in Princeton, said, “We have a well-stocked supply of chicken wings and plenty of other snacks for our customers to enjoy while they watch the big game!”

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