As the warm weather arrives and Americans prepare for summer barbecues and game days, they might be shocked by the price of their favorite staple: chicken wings.
Inflation has soared since President Joe Biden, 79, took office as the United States still grapples with the ongoing pandemic and supply shortages.
Grocery prices soared 14.3%, leading to higher shopping bills and inflated menu prices.
Jeff Good and Dan Blumenthal, the owners of Sal and Mookies – a New York-themed restaurant chain in Mississippi – were forced to sell chicken wings at market value – a menu discretion usually reserved for household items. luxury, like lobster.
The popular menu item of a sassy basket of 15 wings retailed for $13.95 before the Covid 19 outbreak, but can now go up to $27.95 – or what Good believes is the “actual cost” of $34.
The restaurant menu now simply states that the wings are at market price and leaves the actual price blank, alongside a note that reads: “Due to national shortages, prices for our wings fluctuate.”
“We’ve never seen anything like what we’re seeing right now,” Good, who has owned a restaurant for nearly 30 years, told the Orange County Register. Good also said he was considering removing the item from the menu.
A 40-pound box of chicken wings cost them $85. But with food inflation up 9.4% – the biggest increase since 1981 – huge consumer demand and a supply chain crisis that has left wings very scarce, the same box can now cost up to 150 dollars.
The cost of chicken wings has skyrocketed as inflation continues to rise, with some restaurants forced to sell them at market value
The owners of Sal and Mookies were forced to put a note on their menu, stating that “due to national shortages, prices for our wings fluctuate” as the cost of their wings has risen from $13.95 to nearly of $30.
On top of that, restaurant owners are facing not only soaring prices for chicken wings, but also rising prices for flour, cooking oils, meats and dairy products.
Prices often climb higher than the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which will continue to affect consumer prices, which are measured in the Producer Price Index (PPI).
Flour alone has jumped 40%, oil 41%, butter 51% and eggs have jumped 220% in the past 12 months, according to the National Restaurant Association.
Additionally, Good and Blumenthal are facing increased labor costs, as well as unexpected new charges, such as a $40 fuel charge per visit for air conditioners at all three locations.
Good told the Orange County Register that to keep up with rising inflation, he needed to raise menu prices. The average menu price in the United States has climbed 7.2% over the past year.
Unlike smaller businesses, which are forced to change prices much more quickly, larger chains can often hold out a bit longer before increasing in value. However, fast food chain Wendy’s had to increase fan-favorite menu items, such as the Baconator and Dave’s Double.
Sal and Mookies owners Jeff Good and Dan Blumenthal (pictured together) said the actual cost of their ‘real cost’ for the chicken wings was $34 as the flour and oil are also up and they are considering removing the menu item.
“Eventually, they will have to raise prices,” Food Institute CEO Brain Choi told the Orange County Register. “There is still a lot of inflation to come.”
“Companies will do whatever they can to cut margins and not pass on higher costs to producers if they see any chance of prices reversing soon, however, they will eventually have to pass on these price increases,” said Chief Commodity Economist for StoneX, Arlan Suderman, told the Orange County Register.
Given that the PPI is rising faster than the CPI, consumers may continue to see a “significant increase” in food costs in the months ahead.
Moreover, not only consumers and businesses face price increases, but farmers too. Fertilizers are hard to come by, gas for equipment is very high and an outbreak of bird flu has killed nearly 10% of the country’s laying hens. Food distributors are seeing inflation rates among teenagers, according to the Orange County Register.
The less farmers are able to produce, the more prices will rise, in addition to inflation.
The Biden administration previously claimed the war in Ukraine was driving up inflation and gas prices — although both rose before the Russian invasion.
Rather than corporate taxes, interest rates have been seen by many economic pundits as the key number to master in order to reduce inflation.
The Federal Reserve began raising interest rates to slow borrowing and spending enough to calm inflation, after the era of cheap money ushered in by the pandemic.
“Inflation is far too high, and we understand the difficulties it is causing, and we are moving quickly to bring it down,” Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said earlier this week.
Food inflation is up 9.4%, with popular items like bacon up 17% and beef up 14%.
Inflation started to soar in April 2021 and has since risen to over 8%
In an interview with Marketplace, he was asked what he would say to someone who lost their job or missed a pay raise as the Fed tried to stifle inflationary spending.
“So I would say that we fully understand and appreciate how painful inflation is, and that we have the tools and the will to bring it down to 2%, and we are going to do it.”
“I will also say that the process of reducing inflation to 2% will also cause some pain, but ultimately the most painful thing would be if we failed to cope with it and inflation had to s rooted in the economy at high levels. , and we know what it is.
“And these are just people losing the value of their paycheck due to high inflation and ultimately we should go through a much deeper recession. And so we really have to avoid that.
The May 11 Labor Department report says the consumer price index rose 0.3% in April from the previous month, for an 8.3% gain from a year ago. , compared to an increase of 8.5% in March.
Gas is also on the rise, hurting farmers who harvest the food that restaurants and consumers need, which is also driving up food prices.
The food index rose 9.4% from a year ago, the biggest 12-month increase since 1981, and the energy index climbed 30.3% from a year ago.
Excluding volatility in food and energy prices, so-called “core” inflation reached 6.3% in the 12 months to April, down slightly from the rate annual 6.5% recorded in March.
However, in a disturbing sign inflation is taking root, core prices jumped 0.6% from March to April, double the 0.3% rise from February to March.
These increases were fueled by soaring prices for airline tickets, hotel rooms and new cars. Rental costs have also risen sharply.