Chicken tenders have become the latest culprit of supply chain issues, as the United States is facing a looming shortage of the popular poultry product with prices rising almost a dollar per pound over the last year.
While the average price for a pound of chicken tenders was just $3.02 last year, it’s gone up all the way to $3.99 in 2021. As a result, some fast-food chains, including KFC and A&W, have started removing chicken fingers from certain promotions in an attempt to avoid running out of the popular item.
“There is no safe harbor in the supply chain right now,” Hattie B’s culinary, learning and development vice president Brian Morris explained. “We see it across the board, but certainly you feel the pain the most in tenders.”
This is also affecting families at home, as chicken fingers are obviously a popular food item for kids. Molly Edmonds, a mom living in Arizona, said that she has noticed chicken fingers not being available at grocery stores at an increased rate, much to her children’s chagrin.
“When I come home from the store and I don’t have any chicken tenders, my kids are not happy,” Edmunds told Hype Beast, “The shelves have been empty recently, restaurants have been out of chicken tenders, and that makes it very difficult when you have kids that have limited options.”
But why are chicken fingers facing a shortage instead of chicken in general? Because it requires more processing in order to package and then sell. The meat industry as a whole has seen prices rising in the wake of the pandemic but chicken fingers are one of the products that have been affected the most.
While meat manufacturers have cited weather, high demand, and labor shortages as the reason for the rising prices, the Biden administration announced that the Department of Agriculture is “conducting an ongoing joint investigation with the Department of Justice into price-fixing in the chicken-processing industry.” So stay tuned for more chicken tendy drama.