By now, Americans are pretty used to living in a third-world country where supply chain disruptions have produced soaring prices for certain foods or even created shortages. It seems like every week, another company is complaining about surging prices for raw materials or shortages. So far, consumers have yet to lash out, but the next nationwide shortage materializing could do just that.
Bloomberg reports a massive chicken shortage could be developing as fast-food chains have already reported shortages. KFC says it's struggling to keep up with soaring demand as supplies are tightening. At 750 Bojangles locations, the chain is suffering a "system-wide shortage" of chicken.
The most popular meat in the US was broiler chicken, at about 96.4 pounds per capita in 2020. So any shortage and or price surge would easily upset tens of millions of Americans.
COVID has resulted in a demand surge for chicken. McDonald's Corp. and KFC, owned by Yum! Brands Inc. reported this week that fried chicken products were selling like hotcakes. There is no direct evidence why chicken demand at fast-food shops is soaring - but one can assume that with millions of Americans still out of work and can barely afford to eat, they're going buck wild with their stimulus checks at cheap fast food joints.
"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," Yum Chief Executive Officer David Gibbs told investors on a Wednesday.
McDonald's said this week that its new chicken sandwich line is "far exceeding expectations."
Bloomberg notes poultry companies have been struggling to keep up with demand from fast-food chains. According to Pilgrim's Pride Corp., the second-biggest US chicken producer, they can't expand capacity due to labor shortages.
Under a Biden administration, millions of people are getting paid more to sit on their couch and play Xbox or trade crypto than actually find a job. This is already having significant implications on the labor market recovery and the economic recovery as a whole.
Wingstop Inc.'s chairman, Charles Morrison, warned:
"Suppliers are struggling just as many in our industry are, to hire people to process chicken, thus placing unexpected pressure on the number of birds that can be processed and negatively affecting the supply of all parts of the chicken in the US, not just wings."
America is running low on chicken, and a mass shortage appears to be brewing.
Google search term "chicken shortage" has exploded to new highs as people across the country panic search why there's no more chicken at their favorite fast food shops.
So maybe, just maybe, a combination of huge demand and labor shortages at poultry houses creates a massive chicken shortage that could freak out millions of people.
People on Twitter are not happy about the shortages.
I can deal with not being able to breath through my nose but @Bojangles going through a chicken supreme shortage makes me draw the line— Taylor Gallyon (@taylor_gallyon) April 29, 2021
I just heard about the supreme shortage & I’m upset. @Bojangles fix this🥺— Erica Koenig (@ericaaakoenig) April 29, 2021
Chip shortage, chicken shortage, housing shortages, and many other shortages. Shortages are used to raise consumer prices. What is sad its working.— Cal (@kkalverta) April 30, 2021
We are having a chicken shortage. Vitamin shortage , cat food shortage among others— StillWaters777 (@stillwaters777) April 30, 2021
Even some bare shelves for dog food
That’s a National chicken wing shortage & I don’t know how to feel.... I might pass away lol— Kakez 🐺 (@WolfKayy) April 30, 2021
Is it time to panic hoard chicken?