Does North Carolina eat the most chicken wings during the Super Bowl?

Americans are expected to eat 1.42 billion chicken wings on Super Bowl Sunday, but some states have a bigger hankering than others. (Getty Images)

(NEXSTAR) – Some of us will be rooting for the Rams this Sunday. Others will be cheering for the Bengals. But most of us will be pinning our hopes on the wings of a chicken.

Americans are expected to eat nearly a billion and a half chicken wings on Super Bowl Sunday, which equates to roughly 4.3 wings for every single person in the United States. And, despite assurances from the National Chicken Council that there is “no wing shortage” this year, wings will almost certainly be more expensive, and perhaps still tricky to find.

Development, the demand for chicken wings has been “through the roof since the beginning of the pandemic,” according to Tom Super, a spokesperson for the National Chicken Council (NCC).

If last year’s data is any indication, some of us are way hungrier than others, too.

Instacart, an online delivery service for groceries, has crunched some numbers to determine which states are ordering the most fresh, frozen or prepared chicken wings. The company came to its findings by calculating the percentage of carts that contained wings in the week leading up to Super Bowl Sunday in 2021, but the results tend to suggest that the East Coast and the South have a bigger appetite for wings than fans in the West and Midwest.

Maryland, however, may have had the biggest hankering for wings in 2021. In the week before Super Bowl LV, 6% of Instacart customers in Maryland has chicken wings in their carts — or around 1 in every 17 shoppers. Customers in Mississippi and Connecticut followed closely behind, with 5.7% of each state’s Instacart shoppers adding wings to their cart that same week.

A complete ranking, along with the percentage of Instacart shoppers who bought wings in the week ending on Feb. 7, 2021, is below:

Maryland 6.0%
Connecticut 5.7%
Mississippi 5.7%
Georgia 5.2%
New Jersey 5.1%
Washington DC 5.1%
Virginia 5.1%
Missouri 5.0%
North Carolina 5.0%
South Carolina 4.6%
Delaware 4.5%
Florida 4.5%
Pennsylvania 4.3%
Michigan 4.2%
Alabama 4.2%
Tennessee 4.2%
Vermont 4.2%
Massachusetts 4.1%
New York 4.1%
Nebraska 4.0%
Hawaii 4.0%
Indian 3.9%
Illinois 3.9%
Nevada 3.9%
West Virginia 3.8%
Kentucky 3.8%
Kansas 3.8%
New Hampshire 3.8%
Arkansas 3.7%
Ohio 3.6%
Minnesota 3.5%
Iowa 3.5%
Texas 3.5%
New Mexico 3.4%
Maine 3.3%
Montana 3.3%
Colorado 3.3%
Rhode Island 3.3%
Alaska 3.3%
Utah 3.1%
Arizona 3.1%
California 3.1%
Washington 3.1%
Wyoming 2.9%
Wisconsin 2.9%
Idaho 2.8%
South Dakota 2.8%
Louisiana 2.7%
Oklahoma 2.6%
Oregon 2.6%
North Dakota 2.3%
Percentages are based on the number of Instacart shoppers in each state who added wings to their cart in the week ending Feb. 7, 2021.

It’s too soon to tell whether last year’s figures are indicative of 2022’s wing trends. The National Chicken Council, however, expects Americans to eat the same amount of wings — 1.42 billion — as they did in 2021, despite a price increase of 30 cents per pound since Feb. 2021.

Labor shortages and supply-chain issues have also threatened to make wings an even hotter commodity, but the NCC claims they’ve taken steps to account for increased demand, which include earmarking more of the supply for cut-up chicken pieces (rather than selling them to consumers as whole birds) and amassing a bigger stockpile of frozen wings.

“Like almost anything else you buy right now, wings might be a little more expensive, but they’ll be stocked,” NCC spokesperson Tom Super claimed. “I just wouldn’t wait until kickoff to be in line or order online.”


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