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Restaurants Get Break as Chicken Prices Drop

Nov. 29, 2022
But the situation could spell trouble for poultry processors.

Prices for chicken, especially breast meat, have been dropping considerably, providing relief for fast-food chains and other restaurants.

Chicken breast prices have gone down about 70% since June, and prices for wings and tenders have also dropped, according to statistics from Urner Barry quoted in the Wall Street Journal. This has driven restaurants like Wingstop and Popeye’s to renew promos for chicken sandwiches and wings.

The drop in prices came about as Tyson Foods and other poultry processors revved up production to satisfy demand that had built up due to supply chain issues. “We’re no longer having daily conversations about what our hatch rates are,” a Tyson executive said in an analyst call reported by the Journal.

While good for trade customers like restaurants, the drop in prices could spell trouble for processors who still have to face elevated costs for labor, feed and other necessities. However, this effect will be mitigated among some of the larger processors because of contracts with the big foodservice chains that help cushion them from short-term price swings.

About the Author

Pan Demetrakakes | Senior Editor

Pan has written about the food and beverage industry for more than 25 years. His areas of coverage have included formulations, processing, packaging, marketing and retailing. Pan worked for Food Processing Magazine for six years in the 1990s, where he was operations editor (his current role), touring dozens of food plants of every description. He has also worked for Packaging and Food & Beverage Packaging magazines, the latter as chief editor, during which he won three ASBPE awards. He is a graduate of Stanford University with a BA in communications.

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