MORRISTOWN, NJ - According to the National Chicken Council's 2015 Wing Report (yes, there is such a thing) , 1.25 billion chicken wings will be eaten during Super Bowl XLIX.
To put that into perspective, if 1.25 billion wing segments were laid end to end, they would stretch back and forth from CenturyLink Field in Seattle (home of the Seahawks) to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA (home of the New England Patriots) almost 28 times. It's enough to put 572 wings on every seat in every NFL stadium.
Locally, Tito's Burritos expects to sell about 3,500 wings on Super Bowl Sunday, making this their second biggest day of the year.
"This is a huge weekend for us at Tito's Burritos. A lot of planning has gone into this weekend. We have a lot of pre-orders for our wings" says Mike Caldarella, owner of Tito's Burritos. "Even more people will call in on Sunday to order wings. The Super Bowl is one of our busiest days of the year."
"We offer sauces based on our singed palate factor. The higher the SPF, the higher the tolerance for heat. ", says Caldarella. "Our most popular wing is the "gnarley wing" It's out traditional buffalo sauce, so it's not too hot, just a bit." Click HERE for a list of all the sauces.
More than half of adults who eat chicken wings say they typically like to eat them with ranch dressing, according to the National Chicken Council (NCC) survey, which was conducted by Harris Poll*. In order of preference are:
- Ranch Dressing: 56%
- BBQ Sauce: 42%
- Blue Cheese Dressing: 36%
- Hot Sauce: 36%
- Celery: 35%
- Carrots: 20%
- Nothing: 10% (self-described purists who eat nothing with their wings).
To Bone or Not to Bone?
The survey touched on growing popularity of "boneless wings"; 54% of respondents prefer traditional, (bone-in) wings while 46% chose boneless.
Last year, Buffalo Wild Wings in Watchung sold 28,000 traditional wings and 8,000 boneless wings.
“The Super Bowl is actually our busiest day of the year -- predominantly from take-out orders. We start our preorders two weeks in advance and promote special take-out offers leading up to the game,” said Matt Allgauer, general manager of Buffalo Wild Wings in Watchung, NJ, adding that Asian Zing and Honey BBQ are the most popular sauces among the sports bar's extensive selection.
The Drumette vs. Flat
The vast majority of wings, especially those destined for restaurants, are disjointed, with the third joint (the thin part known as the wing tip or flapper) being exported to Asian countries. The meatier first and second joints being sold domestically. Wings are usually split and served in two segments known as the "drumette" and the "flat." The breakout: 46% prefer the drumette, 25% the flat, and 10% prefer their wings whole. (About 19% didn't have a preference.).
The National Chicken Council is a non-profit trade association based in Washington, D.C. Member companies of NCC account for more than 95% of the chicken sold in the U.S.