The National Chicken Council predicts Americans will eat 1.23 billion chicken wings during Super Bowl weekend. That’s 76 million pounds of chicken.
If divided equally, every U.S. citizen could eat about 4 wings each. Of course, some of us will eat more than our fair share. You know who you are.
Collectively, Americans will consume 100 billion calories in wings this weekend, not counting the calories in beer, seven layer dip, or whatever other snacks we gobble down during the game.
According to the NCC, 13.25 billion chicken wings are sold in an entire year, meaning this upcoming weekend accounts for more than 10 percent of wing sales.
But while that may seem like a big number, Americans are actually slacking in the wing-eating department this year.
Last year, the NCC approximated that Americans ate 1.25 billion wings.
“Chicken companies produced about one percent fewer birds last year, due in large part to record high corn and feed prices,” Bill Roenigk, chief economist and market analyst at the National Chicken Council, said in a statement.
Chicken feed consists mostly of corn and Roenigk explained that “less corn equals higher feed costs, which means fewer birds produced.”
“Corn prices hit an all-time high in 2012, due to two reasons: last summer’s drought and pressure from a federal government requirement that mandates 40 percent of our corn crop be turned into fuel in the form of ethanol,” he added.
But this news of a dwindling chicken population has not seemed to reach the folks down in Philadelphia gearing up for the annual Wing Bowl on Friday.
Two days before the 49ers and Ravens push the limit in New Orleans for Super Bowl XLVII, the competitive eaters in Philadelphia will push the limits of their stomachs for the 20th annual Wing Bowl.
An estimated 70,000 people may be attending the Super Bowl this year, but if the attendance is the same as last year, 20,000 people will attend the Wing Bowl just to watch people furiously eat chicken wings.
Last year,the Japanese champion Takeru Kobayashi set a new record, eating 337 chicken wings in just 30 minutes.
Suddenly, the 1.23 billion number makes a lot more sense.