Food shortage is not something many Americans would ever be able to predict in the cards for the country. With a nation that boasts an abundance of just about everything, buzz about a potential shortage of one of American's most preferred foods is not something many would take lightly.
Unfortunately for Americans, the country is currently on the verge of a massive chicken crisis. According to agriculture professionals and fast-food executives, increased demand and decreased poultry supply during the pandemic have created this dire situation.
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Fast-food executives specifically note the difficulty in stocking enough chicken in their facilities like nuggets, tenders, wings, patties, and all other shapes and sizes to appease the American hunger for chicken. “Demand for the new sandwich has been so strong that, coupled with general tightening in domestic chicken supply, our main challenge has been keeping up with that demand,” said David Gibbs, who is CEO of Yum Brands.
The chairman and CEO of Wingstop said this week, "Suppliers are struggling, just as many in our industry are, to hire people to process chicken, thus placing unexpected pressure on the amount of birds that can be processed and negatively affecting supply of all parts of the chicken in the U.S., not just wings.”
Chicken has been the most in-demand meat in the United States for years, and the COVID-19 pandemic severely affected the poultry industry and is part of the reason for this deficit. Coronavirus restrictions caused poultry plants to reduce staff, although the demand for chicken increased as millions of Americans were forced to stay inside. Bad weather and power outrages in major chicken-producing areas like Texas and Arkansas also contributed to creating this crisis.
One industry official in North Carolina even predicted the low supply might become worse as the weather gets warmer and people begin grilling more regularly. Right now, there's no word on how the country plans to combat this.