Increased chicken demand causing some restaurants to face wing shortage

JOPLIN, Mo. –Chicken has been hard to come by lately for some local businesses.

As demand for the bird increases, suppliers are having trouble catching up.

Vicky Jia, owner of Wings N More in Joplin said she had to call multiple suppliers to get her hands on poultry, something she wouldn’t normally have to do.

“When you call three suppliers, call these suppliers call other suppliers, to see who can give me the chicken breast. Like actual work to find material,” Jia said.

Price increases haven’t helped  either

“Price going twice, like last year, like 42 for a case of breast, right now going up to 92, so that’s twice the price,” Jia said.

But it hasn’t affected everyone. Scott Hutson, owner of  Screamin’ Chicken in Joplin didn’t even realize there was an issue.

“I’ve just seen a few things on the news, we haven’t been impacted at all yet,” Hutson said.

Which he said he’s grateful for.

“It’s a blessing, it’s good to be able to take care of customers.” 

Tom Super of the National Chicken Council says the tight supply is just short of being a national shortage and sent a statement that reads in part:

“Chicken producers are doing everything they can to overcome the devastating impact of Mother Nature when she inflicted the once in a lifetime winter storm on Texas and nearby states – major chicken producing regions. It will take time and effort to eventually replace the impacted hatchery supply flocks in that region, but supply should catch back up to demand soon. So as high as demand is for wings right now, even small gaps in the supply of wings can cause big fluctuations in price.”

As for the supply itself, he said chicken sandwich wars played a part in increased demand.

But, chicken production is getting back to its normal pace, and the supply issue should pass soon.

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