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Finger lickin’ gone: Is a chicken tender shortage underway?

Finger lickin' gone: Is a chicken tender shortage underway?


Finger lickin’ gone: Is a chicken tender shortage underway?

Guy Fieri takes his chicken tender restaurant nationwideThere are 22 dipping sauces!TimeChicken tenders may be the next casualty of supply chain-generated shortages, according to a report by NBC News.Chicken tenders require more processing and packaging to sell, making them harder to find and more costly, NBC News reported.The price of breast tenders has gone up to $3.54 per pound this week from $3.44 per pound at the same time last year, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture released on Dec. 3. Last week, the price went up to $3.98 per pound, the report said.Chicken and other forms of meat have already been subject to higher prices for the past year.The reasons behind the meat shortage vary, depending on whom you ask.With meat prices skyrocketing in grocery stores, the Biden administration cited illegal price fixing by the meat-processing industry.”USDA is conducting an ongoing joint investigation with the Department of Justice into price-fixing in the chicken-processing industry,” the White House said in a September post.Meat manufacturers cited extreme weather, labor shortages and high demand as the reason for increased prices.”Multiple, unprecedented market shocks, including a global pandemic and severe weather conditions, led to an unexpected and drastic drop in meat processors’ abilities to operate at full capacity,” said Tyson Foods in a September press release. “Labor shortages are also affecting the nation’s pork and poultry supply.”Chicken shortage 2021: Is there a chicken shortage? How COVID, chicken sandwich war and chicken wing demand are impacting restaurantsNot all experts agree that the shortage exists.”There is no chicken tender shortage. Like almost all goods right now, supplies are somewhat tight, but I would say it falls short of any ‘shortage,'” says Tom Super, senior vice president of communications at the National Chicken Council. “Like almost anything right now, some products might take longer than usual to get to where they need to be, but in most cases they get there.”Chicken tender prices have been declining since early September, Super says, which would indicate an increase in supply. Wholesale tender prices are down 18% from highs in early September, according to USDA.”We’re dealing with the same rise in input costs, labor shortages and trucking challenges as most other industries right now. In the face of all of these supply chain challenges, chicken production will actually be up this year, according to USDA,” Super says.However, many fast-food chains have taken a step back on chicken tenders.McDonald’s, according to Nation’s Restaurant News (NRN), announced Friday that it is temporarily taking chicken tenders off the menu because of supply issues.KFC also stopped advertising chicken tenders as it anticipated shortages and wanted to tamper consumer demand.“On chicken tenders, we have enough to supply demand, but we would love to have more to be able to aggressively promote it on TV,” KFC U.S. President Kevin Hochman said in a September interview with Bloomberg.Plant-based alternatives have boomed during the pandemic as the prices of meat have gone up.Plant-based meat company Beyond Meat launched Beyond Chicken Tenders in July to dozens of restaurants nationwide.Companies with plant-based meats cut prices to be more competitive with meat prices, with Beyond Meat experiencing record sales during the pandemic, the New York Times reports.Plant-based meat interest experienced a 1,320% increase in U.S. menu mentions since pre-pandemic times, according to an August report by Tastewise, an AI-powered food intelligence company.You can reach follow the author @michelle_shen10 on Twitter. 

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