Why is there a chicken wing shortage?

America is running out of chicken

Shortage fuelled by demand for fried chicken and disruptions in supply chain due to Covid-19

Akshita Jain
Friday 30 April 2021 07:16
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The demand for chicken in America — from sandwiches to wings — is so high that the country is starting to run low.

KFC told Bloomberg that it is struggling to keep up with the demand for its new sandwich. Responding to a customer, Bojangles said in a tweet that “we’re experiencing a system-wide shortage : (But they will be back soon!)”

“Demand for the new sandwich has been so strong that, coupled with general tightening in domestic chicken supply, our main challenge has been keeping up with that demand,” said David Gibbs, CEO of Yum Brands, which owns KFC.

Without mentioning any shortages, McDonald’s also said that sales for its chicken sandwiches are “exceeding our projections.”

Experts have cited several reasons for the shortage, including disruptions in the market and supply chain because of the Covid-19 pandemic and an increased demand for a comfort food that can be easily packed for takeout or delivery, according to The Washington Post.

The poultry industry is also facing labor issues.

Fabio Sandri, chief executive officer of Pilgrim’s Pride Corp, the second-biggest US chicken producer, said the biggest challenge for them is labour. The company expects to pay $40 million (£28 million) more this year to retain workers, according to Bloomberg.

Reports have revealed that workers have endured life-threatening conditions in meat and poultry plants during the pandemic, according to TheWashington Post.

Poultry plants in the US became coronavirus hotspots last year. About 60,000 meatpacking workers tested positive in the US and at least 291 died, according to data compiled by Food and Environment Reporting Network in last October.

Donald Trump’s administration also allowed 15 poultry plants to increase slaughter line speeds during the pandemic, making it difficult for workers to distance from each other. The decision allowed the virus to spread more easily, according to an analysis by The Post.

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