Nationwide chicken shortage affecting local businesses

Local business owners suffering because of the high demand for chicken
Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 7:32 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - July 29th is National Chicken Wing Day, but did you know there is a nationwide shortage of chicken?

You might have noticed a difference in prices at your local wing spots and it’s because there has been a shortage nationwide.

Sanderson Farms Chief Financial Officer Mike Cockrell says the shortage is not because the chickens aren’t laying any eggs.

“It’s not really a chicken shortage but so much as it is an increase in the demand for product,” said Cockrell. “The industry as a whole, if you look at the whole industry in the United States, we’re producing about the same amount as we were last year, if not a little bit more.”

Cockrell says this problem has had a major effect on chicken wings because wings were the best item to order curbside during the pandemic.

“You know wings are the same by the time you get them home as they were at the restaurant, but if you buy a chicken parmesan by the time you get it home, it’s a mess,” says Cockrell.

He says you might not see the price change when you go to the grocery store, but the restaurant owners are seeing it when they buy from their distributors.

“The price that restaurants are having to pay for chicken has gone up, so it might be affecting a restaurant’s margin if they’re having to pay more for chicken and their menu doesn’t change,” says Cockrell.

Nick Fairley, the owner of Fairley’s Wings in Hattiesburg, says he’s had to raise prices about three times in the last few months because of how expensive chicken is at this time.

“I would say almost, about $2 because it started out, my 8 piece was $9 and then I had to move my 8 pieces up to $11,” says Fairley.

“I wish they could kind of figure something out so they could go down, so everything could go back to normal so I can take my prices back down so people will continue to come back out.”

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