Local chicken industry working to keep up with high demand
BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - In the last year, nearly every industry has been impacted by this pandemic and the latest is an increased demand for chicken.
Reports say the near shortage in chicken is a factor of several things; the Texas severe weather storm, the increase in fried chicken popularity among fast-food chains, and a national labor shortage. Sanderson Farms Chief Financial Officer, Mike Cockrell says food retailers are increasing that business.
“Not just chicken, beef and pork as well and pickles, tomatoes you name it,” said Cockrell.
Cockrell says hot items are chicken wings and breasts.
“At the peak of the pandemic wings were doing really well. A lot of restaurants started selling wings and they’re still selling them,” said Cockrell. " Several of these big chains are featuring these chicken sandwiches. It created a demand and as a result of that, demand has exceeded supply over the last few weeks.”
Cockrell says processors are working to keep up.
“It’s going to be an interesting summer to see how the industry responds to this really good demand because to do that, you have to put chickens on the ground and feed them a very expensive costly grain,” said Cockrell.
Readfield Meats and Deli Co-Owner, Richard Ruffino says they’re starting to see the effects that demand is having.
“The prices are definitely going up on chicken and breast meat as well as wings,” said Ruffino.
Ruffino says so far their wholesale prices haven’t resulted in a change to customer prices.
“When the price goes up, naturally we get charged more and we usually absorb it as much as we can to a certain point. Then after that, we have to pass it along to the customer and increase prices,” said Ruffino.
Ruffino says it’s an ever-moving cycle they’re used to and will get through like in years past.
“We have been doing this for years. We’ve got to weather it out. There’s really nothing we can do, we’re in this business we just take what’s given to us and do our best to maintain our clients here,” said Ruffino.
Reports say the near shortage is a factor of several things, the Texas severe weather storm, the increase in fried chicken popularity among fast-food chains, and a national labor shortage.
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