Chicken wings at Tiki on Main in Evansville, IN in January 2022. Classic buffalo wings, rear, and popular sweet and hot Tequila wings are already on the menu at Tiki on Main. Tiki Wings

Ahead of the college football and NFL seasons, there’s some great news for restaurants and bars that offer bone-in chicken wings. According to a recent US Department of Agriculture report, bone-in wings are at their lowest price since May 2020 (which came after an April surplus of unsold chicken wings thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic caused the cancellation of March Madness).

Here’s how NBC’s Today covered that Monday:

As that piece by Joseph Lamour notes, this is based on the latest monthly US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook report, which was published Aug. 18. Here’s more from the poultry section of that report:

Chicken wings in cold storage increased for the second month and at the end of June were at their highest since 2018. At the same time, wing prices have been steadily falling from a high of 325 cents per pound in May 2021. They averaged 168.2 cents per pound in July, the lowest monthly average since May 2020.

Lamour writes that this may be linked to early-pandemic moments when more bone-in wings were bought by consumers, which combined with supply-chain challenges to cause restaurant shortages. That caused restaurants to shift to offering more boneless wings, a trend some of them have stuck with even after the specific shortages went away.

As to why the price of those beloved morsels of Buffalo sauce-drenched joy are falling, demand during the start of the pandemic and the resulting quarantine caused bone-in chicken wings to be bought at a higher rate for home consumption than ever before. This then caused restaurants, who were facing shortages, to switch to boneless wings, a trend many have stuck with, which caused bone-in wing supply to steadily rebound in the present. In fact, the USDA report said the amount of wings in cold storage was at its highest level at the end of June since 2018, and supplies increased for the second month in a row as of the report.

It will be interesting to see how that changes in the months ahead, though, as it’s certainly possible to imagine spikes in wing consumption at bars and restaurants around fall football games. Football and wings have often been cited together. And, beyond that, a lower average cost on wings for restaurants doesn’t mean savings are going to be passed on to consumers, especially as restaurants are facing challenges with other supplies, staffing, and more.

But it’s definitely notable to see that the average price of wings for restaurants this July was the lowest it’s been since May 2020. And it’s also significant that restaurants have had plenty of wings in stock. That should mean that those who enjoy bone-in wings should be able to find them relatively easily this fall.

[; photo of wings at Evansville, IN’s Tiki on Main in January from Aimee Blume/The Evansville Courier and Press, via USA Today Sports]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.