The U.S. Could Soon Experience a Chicken Tender Shortage

Tenders could possibly become the latest item to be affected by COVID-19-related supply chain problems.

Food & Beverage
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The US could be facing a chicken tender shortage due to COVID-19-related supply chain problems.

According to reports, the price of a value pack of chicken tenders has seen an increase of almost $1 USD a pound in comparison to last year, rising from an average of $3.02 USD to $3.99 USD. Industry experts state that chicken tenders are more expensive or harder to find than other chicken-derived food items because it requires more processing to package and sell.

Restaurant chains such as KFC and A&W have opted to remove their chicken tenders from promotions in an attempt to avoid selling the food items out. Nashville-based establishment Hattie B’s Hot Chicken is also facing the crisis, with Brian Morris, its culinary, learning and development vice president stating that “[t]here is no safe harbor in the supply chain right now.” He added, “We see it across the board, but certainly you feel the pain the most in tenders.”

Morris also revealed that while Hattie B has yet to increase the price of its chicken tenders, customers may not want to shell out more money for the item. ”If we were pricing along with it, I don’t know if folks would still want to pay what it would cost,” he admitted.

Restaurant chains aren’t the only ones suffering from the shortage, however. Scottsdale, Arizona parent Molly Edmunds revealed that her “kids are not happy” when she is unable to bring home chicken tenders. “My kids eat hamburgers, french fries — I have to wrestle them to eat vegetables,” she said. “When I come home from the store and I don’t have any chicken tenders, my kids are not happy.” Edmunds is struggling to find the kid-favorite food item, stating, “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.”

Chicken tenders is just one of the latest items to be affected by the pandemic; maple syrup, wine and spirits, takeout containers and coffee cups have also experienced a shortage.

Elsewhere in F&B, Wingstop has announced an Orange Szechuan chicken flavor.

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