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Which Type of Chicken Wing Do Consumers Prefer, Bone-in or Boneless?

Consumers are on the rise when it comes to ordering chicken at restaurants. With 45 percent of the population ordering chicken wings at restaurants and foodservice outlets and servings on the rise, according to researcher The NPD Group, restaurant operators need to understand who is on team bone-in and who is on team boneless.

The most popular type of chicken wing is bone-in. The demand for bone-in chicken wings is strong. Over sixty percent of wings served at restaurants are bone-in. Further, over the past year, servings of bone-in were up six percent while declining by a similar rate for boneless, according to a new NPD study entitled, The Chicken Wing Dilemma.

The NPD study, which is based on its Checkout consumer receipt harvesting service, examines the purchase patterns of wing buyers and how restaurant operators react to fluctuating wing prices. Wing prices increased during the summer while the demand remained high but prices declined over the past three months. Boneless wings are more heavily promoted over bone-in wings when prices are high.

“Foodservice operators and suppliers offering chicken wings need to understand purchase patterns of wing buyers in order to menu appropriately, price accordingly, and tailor marketing to grow in the headwinds of price increases,” says Bonnie Riggs, NPD’s restaurant industry analyst. “Most wing buyers aren’t fair weather fans; they are super fans who stick with one type of wing regardless of price.”

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Don Sniegowski is editor of Blue MauMau, the daily news journal for franchise & small business owners. Call him at +1 (270) 321-1268, tweet @bluemaumau or email