Chicken wings flying to No. 1 Super Bowl snack despite rising prices

Chicken wings are always a popular choice for Super Bowl Sunday. (WRDW-TV)

Chicken wings are always a popular choice for Super Bowl Sunday. (WRDW-TV)

News 12 at 11 o'clock / Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013

MARTINEZ, Ga. (WRDW) -- The National Chicken Council projected more than 1.25 billion wings would be eaten this weekend.

While that means more customers for businesses, that's not the only number that's rising.

"Usually chicken prices are $80 to $85 a case, and when we got the deliveries this week, they were by average, $15 per case higher," said owner and operator of Wingstop Joviane Branker.

That's a substantial increase for businesses right before the big game.

"Yes, drastically, just within the last week," Branker said.

But the owners of Wingstop didn't alter their prices to make up for the hike.

That means even though the store has a line out the door, all those customers won't offset the new price for this Sunday's favorite treat.

"As a business owner you don't want to pass every last cost of your business on to your customer," Branker said.

A case of bone-in chicken wings used to cost $83, but in the past week, it rose $10 more.

While fans are eating their wings, this business is eating the cost. But that's a sacrifice this shop is willing to make, and this is why.

"Got to have the wings. Can't do a Super Bowl without the wings," said customer Paul Gilmore.

"Wings are either one or one-a behind the TV, you gotta have them. Super Bowl, then wings," said customers Adam Brown and Mike Raftenvold.

On a normal day, this restaurant sells about 2,000 wings, but Sunday is a different story.

"We had an order for 2,000 wings before we even opened the door. More like 20,000," Branker said.

Gilmore ordered 60 wings today but said he's contemplating coming back for more.

While the store decided not to spike their prices with the cost of chicken, customers say a dollar or two more wouldn't have mattered.

"We'd still be getting them probably from here, the same amount. Wouldn't change anything," Brown said.

No matter which team you were cheering for tonight, customers say wings are always an easy win.

"Dare I say, 'Winner, winner chicken dinner,'" said Brown, laughing.

The Wingstop on Washington Road was making 800 wings every 15 minutes.

This is the 13th straight year they've broken their own store record on a Super Bowl Sunday.

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