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Labor Shortage Could Leave Super Bowl Party Menus Short, Or More Expensive

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A Super Bowl party staple is another in a long line of items being affected by the supply chain and labor shortages, which could leave football fans hungry or paying more for their game day snacks.

Chicken Wings
Chickens wings on paper with buffalo sauce, barbecue sauce and ranch sauce, Dublin, California, November 21, 2021. Photo courtesy Sftm. (Photo by Gado/Getty Images)

Chicken wings are the latest victim of the ongoing supply chain problem, but things are a little different this year as compared to 2021, when wings themselves were the object in high-demand.

Now, the availability of everybody's favorite Super Bowl snack is being compounded by a labor shortage, causing prices to skyrocket nationwide.

"This is an item that has to be cut up and produced, so they need hands to make it happen. So I do have concerns," Joseph Parisi, a supermarket executive, said.

That shortage has driven the price of chicken wings up – the popular Super Bowl snack is now ¢30 a pound more than it was this time last year. And unfortunately, it's not just chicken wings that are pricier this year – the cost to host a Super Bowl party will be about 15% more this year, according to experts.

This news may come as more than just sticker shock, but shock in general, for Americans, who are expected to eat up to 1.42 billion wings while watching Super Bowl LVI, as detailed by the American Chicken Council.

Despite this, Filippi's Pizza Grotto and Last Chance Inn chef Robert Jones is expecting to pump out as many wings as ever come Sunday. When asked what the number one order is on days like Sunday, Jones said, "definitely buffalo wings, chicken wings."

He was well-prepared though, despite the noted increase in price when ordering for this weekend, "We stay on top of our ordering, and make sure we order in advance," he said, especially after the chicken wing shortage that struck in 2021.

Jones, a noted Rams fan, had a recommendation for anybody who might find themselves in their neck of the woods come Super Bowl Sunday, "Our wings of fire go well with anything, especially if you're celebrating with a cold beer."

Luckily, not all Super Bowl snacks will cost big bucks – hot dogs, chips and veggies are a little cheaper this year than last.

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