(ABC NEWS) -- Gearing up to make a batch of chicken wings for the Super Bowl? Prepare to widen your wallet.
In a statement from The National Chicken Council, wholesale chicken wing prices have gone up 14 percent from last year to $2.11 a pound, the highest price recorded by the U.S. department of Agriculture.
The council estimates that Americans will eat 1.23 billion chicken wings on Super Bowl Sunday. Consumption is down one percent, 12.3 million, from last year due to a shortage in the number of chicken wings produced.
“It’s not because of a shortage but it’s because the demand is strong,” said Steve Meyer of Paragon Economics. “Chicken product has been up versus a year ago.”
Shortage or not, chicken wings are in high demand during football season.
“Chicken wings are in their prime right now – everyone loves a chicken wing,” Elizabeth Karmel, executive chef of Hill Country Barbecue Market in New York City, told ABC News.
“They used to be thought of as bar food or a second cut of the chicken, but now people relish them more than other piece of the chicken; I think that is because wings have a great skin to meat ratio, whereas on a bigger piece or different cut, there’s not the sane delectable ratio,” said Karmel.
Preparing for a big turnout this year, Karmel said, “we expect to go through countless wings at both Hill Country Barbecue and Hill Country Chicken this Super Bowl weekend!”
If you do indulge in wings for the big game, six of 10 people surveyed by The National Chicken Council prefer to dip their wings in ranch. After ranch, barbecue sauce, hot sauce and blue cheese follow in order of popularity.
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