TODAY   |  January 26, 2013

Don’t wing it game day: Possible shortages, price jumps for chicken wings

It’s the hit of most Super Bowl parties, but last summer’s drought caused farmers around the country to slow chicken production, and that’s now hitting chicken wing fans in the wallet. NBC’s Michelle Franzen reports.

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>>> watch your wallet and waistline before eating on super bowl sunday. this year, chicken wing may cost a bit more. as michelle franzen reports, it's more fallout from last year's drought now coming home to roost.

>> reporter: it is the hit of the party, the wingman, so to speak, to the big game .

>> i guess a football thing. everyone likes to eat wings and watch football and drink beer.

>> reporter: but super bowl weekend, those popular chicken wings could be harder to find and may end up costing you more.

>> i really couldn't imagine a super bowl without chicken wings . it's like baseball and apple pie .

>> reporter: experts blame last summer's drought when corn and soybean prices used to make chicken feed went up, farmers cut back on chicken production.

>> is there a shortage of chicken wings for the super bowl ? no. is there a tight supply? yes.

>> reporter: economists say wholesale chicken prices in january are up as much as 10% from this time last year. at the grocery store, retail prices are up 6%. those higher prices come as fans coast to coast gear up for super bowl weekend parties where americans are expected to gobble up more than a billion wings. thanks. that's 1.23 billion to be exact. enough to stretch from san francisco to baltimore 27 times.

>> we have more and more consumers saying, well, you know, i can't eat one. they're like french fries or potato chips .

>> reporter: at atomic wings in new york city , owner adam lippin says the price increase hasn't hurt business one bit.

>> the popularity is insane. and it has not peaked.

>> reporter: a stop for wings was even at the top of the list for this couple visiting from ireland.

>> i think we'd eat something like that -- we don't have a wing shop back home at all. i think this is a great idea.

>> reporter: as for super bowl fans, the advice is order early, and don't try to wing it on game day . michelle franzen , nbc news, new york.