Wingstop is seeing ‘meaningful deflation’ in chicken wings, CEO says

Business

Chicken wings prices have come down in price since soaring last year, Wingstop chief executive Michael Skipworth told CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Wednesday.

“Other brands are … going to have to look at pricing in order to manage their margins, and Wingstop is in a very different position in that we’ve seen meaningful deflation in our business. The price of wings last year .. hit $3.22 a pound, and we fast forward to today, and it’s $1.63 a pound,” Skipworth said in an interview on “Mad Money.”

“We’ve seen this in years before where a lot of businesses jump into wings [and] it drives the demand up. But as we sit here today, their businesses weren’t built to manage that volatility in the commodity, and so we’ve been able to weather that like we have in the past, and they’ve moved away,” he added.

Skyrocketing prices of ingredients and supply have put pressure on restaurants’ operations during the pandemic, forcing many to raise menu prices to offset the higher costs.

Skipworth, who became CEO of Wingstop in March, also credited high demand for chicken breasts as helping tamp down wing costs. 

“There’s a lot of demand for breast meat, and breast meat is where these poultry companies make their profit, and so they’re growing as many birds as they can right now, which means a lot of supply for wings out there,” he said.

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