The poultry market missed a big sales opportunity when the NCAA basketball tournament was canceled due to the coronavirus. March Madness is the second of the two biggest annual events for wing sales, with the other being the Super Bowl. As the U.S. is asking citizens to stay at home to prevent further spread of the outbreak, the canceled basketball tournament means there is a whole bunch of chicken wings out there on the market.
“That is a fact,” says Will Sawyer, lead animal protein economist at CoBank. “That’s real.” Wings are normally the most expensive part of the bird but haven’t been this cheap since September of 2011. They sold for close to two dollars a pound during this year’s Super Bowl. They’re now selling for half that amount. Poultry producers sold 1.24 million pounds of wings during the week the tournament was supposed to be held. Last week, they sold 433,000 pounds.