During this time of year, I’d like to consider myself the chicken wing beat reporter for BostInno. Don’t get me wrong – I fully support wing consumption year round, and have been known to kick back a dozen wings every now and then. But this is the weekend that chicken wings really get their moment to shine in the snacking spotlight as the best finger-food known to man. After all, this is the time of year when Americans consume an estimated 1.23 billion wings over the course of a weekend.
So what makes this poultry so popular during the Super Bowl? Well, besides their bite-sized deliciousness, here are seven chicken wings facts for you to enlighten yourself before chowing down.
Fact #1: Last year, 111.3 million people tuned in to watch the Super Bowl. If that number remains the same in 2013, and given that 1.23 billion wings are expected to be consumed this year, that equates to about 11 wings per viewer today. Bring. It. On.
Fact #2: That said, wing consumption this weekend is down one percent from 2012. While one percent doesn’t seem like much, it actually turns out to be 12.3 million wings less wings than 2012.
Fact #3: When it comes to wings, there’s no men are from Mars and women are from Venus jokes to be had. We’re all on the same planet: 77 percent of ladies and 82 percent of dudes will get down with chicken wings.
Fact #4: Similarly, both Democrats and Republicans, east and west coasters, Yankees and Southerners enjoy chicken wings. “The data show that chicken wings are not bound by gender or geographic lines,” said a representative from the National Chicken Council. “We also know that they are nonpartisan and politically independent. That is, there are really no extreme left wings or extreme right wings.”
Fact #5: For the past two decades, Philadelphia has been home to the Wing Bowl, an annual chicken wing eating competition drawing talent from all over the nation. This year’s winner was New England native Jamie “The Bear” McDonald, who ate a whopping 287 wings in 31 minutes.
Fact #6: On Super Bowl Sunday, 48 million Americans order takeout, 63 percent of whom said chicken wings were their number one choice for orders, according to the National Restaurant Association.
And here in Boston, we’re no exception.
In the spirit of the season, BostInno worked with GrubHub to analyze takeout orders from the 2012-2013 football season, specifically categorized by our favorite Super Bowl food – chicken wings.
Here are Boston’s top-ordered buffalo wing dishes on GrubHub from September 1, 2012 through January 28, 2013:
- Wings Over (multiple locations) – Hang Glider Combo Pack
- Bon Chon, Cambridge – Chicken Wings and Drumsticks Combo
- Wing It – Boneless Box
- AK’S South Boston – Chicken Wings
- South End Pizza & Grill – Wings
- Wings Express – 10 oz. Regular Boneless Wings
- Pizza Days – Chicken Wings
- New Ho Toy Chinese Restaurant – Fried Chicken Wings
- Broadway’s Best Pizza – Buffalo Wings
- Cappy’s Pizza & Subs – Buffalo Wings
But eating a billion chicken wings doesn’t come without a price.
Fact #7: After all that consumption, it only makes sense that 1.5 million people call in sick on the Monday after the Super Bowl, while another 4.4 million people are late for work that day.
So whether you’re an avid football fan or just in it for Beyonce’s halftime performance, remember that we can all agree on one thing: poultry soaked in delectable flavors.