Chicken, a key staple of the American dinner table, has seen a dramatic price decrease after a major shift in supply and demand.
- Restaurants and supermarkets have continued to struggle with high prices in the wake of the pandemic, but are now getting a break as chicken prices begin to fall.
- Prices for chicken breasts in the U.S. have plunged about 70% since the first week of June, according to market-research firm Urner Barry.
- Chicken companies increased production causing breast, tenders, and wing prices all to fall—all while higher prices kept diners away from the white meat.
- Not only does the drop in price bring relief to restaurants, but customers too as restaurants are adding more chicken options to the menu and lowering prices.
Why it’s news
The pandemic caused numerous items to skyrocket in price including one of America’s favorites—chicken.
Many poultry factories were shut down during the pandemic due to COVID outbreaks causing chicken shortages which in turn caused prices to rise and the prices stayed high until recently.
Boneless, skinless breast-meat prices reached over $3.50 a pound earlier this year, tripling since the start of 2021, according to Urner Barry data.
Chicken prices are finally starting to drop off, coming as a relief to many restaurants who were struggling to keep up with the high prices.
Prices for chicken breasts in the U.S. have plunged about 70% since the first week of June, according to market-research firm Urner Barry, and wing and tender prices have plunged too.
Many restaurants reported double-digit increases in food and ingredient costs this year compared with 2021 though restaurant operators said it may take time for wholesale price declines to flow through to buyers, according to Wall Street Journal writers Heather Haddon and Patrick Thomas.
The news of falling chicken prices comes as a huge relief to many restaurants especially the ones where chicken is the core menu item such as WingStop.
WingStop told investors that its wing costs decreased 42.7% in the three months ended September 24 compared to the same time last year. The restaurant increased earning guidance for the fiscal year and reduced cost expectations.
The price drop is allowing more restaurants to lower prices and add more chicken options to the menu making both restaurants and customers happy.