Americans Expected to Eat 160 Million Vegan Wings on Super Bowl Sunday
Super Bowl Sunday is here and as the Bengals and the Rams prepare for the final face-off of the season, Americans are gearing up to celebrate the unofficial feasting holiday. But this year the Big Game Day spread is going to look a little different if predictions hold true. Instead of the traditional nachos, dips, and wings, there will be all that and vegan wings on the table.
A new report estimates that some 160 million vegan wings will be consumed before the final down of Super Bowl LVI, according to Compassion In World Farming (CIWF). As more people are making the shift towards plant-based alternatives, the traditional chicken wing is getting benched in favor of a new crop of plant-based wings. The group estimates that 10 million Americans will decide to purchase and eat (or cook from scratch) vegan wings instead.
Compassion in World Farming conducted the report based on the current estimates of vegans, vegetarians, and flexitarians within the United States. With nearly 100 million Americans tuning into the Super Bowl this year, the organization believes that a significant portion will defer to the sustainable alternative. The data notes that nearly a third of Americans have adopted flexitarian, or mostly vegetarian, diets in recent years and that approximately 6 percent of Americans currently identify as vegan.
“Every year we’re told how many animal-based chicken wings will be eaten during the Super Bowl,” US Executive Director of Compassion in World Farming Ben Williamson said in a statement. “But one of the fastest-growing food trends is the increasing popularity of healthy and humane plant-based versions of classic American foods, which taste identical to the animal variety. So, we decided to estimate how many football fans will be eating compassionately next Sunday.”
Typically, the Super Bowl is ranked with Thanksgiving as one of the most meat-heavy days of the year. Last year, Americans consumers nearly 1.4 billion chicken wings, putting high strain on the animal agriculture industry and greatly increasing the environmental and ethical harm in the industry. Currently, the price of animal-based wings is also skyrocketing as market demand over recent years has caught up to the poultry sector.
The price surge will also encourage Super Bowl viewers to look for cheaper and more accessible alternatives. Recent data from Wells Fargo found that the cost of meat is up approximately 20 percent this year. Beyond price, the plant-based chicken options produce 43 percent less greenhouse gas emissions than conventional chicken.
“Plant-based meat products are now more widely available than ever before, online and in your local supermarket,” Williamson said. “There’s never been a better time to replace your meat made from animals, with meat made from plants—for your health and for the sake of the planet.”
There’s Plenty of Plant-Based Chicken to Go Around
Recently, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) announced the largest plant-based chicken debut that people had seen. The fast-food giant released its Beyond Chicken Tenders to nearly 4,000 locations nationwide. The plant-based meat is made with Beyond Meat. Customers can stop at KFC locations all over the United States to get 6 or 12-piece tender meals for the Super Bowl watch parties.
Likewise in the retail sector, the up-and-coming vegan meat company LikeMeat just launched its signature plant-based buffalo wings at 3,600 Walmarts nationwide. The new Like Chick’n Wings will be sold in one-pound family packs nationwide, giving consumers an accessible and affordable plant-based option.
Looking for more plant-based chicken? Check out The Beet’s Beet Meters to find the best vegan chicken to try this weekend.