Why Your Super Bowl Party Will Cost More This Year
Time to break out the fat pants.
Your average Super Bowl viewer this weekend will wolf down 1,200 calories during the game, according to the Calorie Control Council. Apparently there won't be much calorie control on Sunday.
Nearly everything at the party costs more this year. The average American watching the game will spend $68.54 on party-related costs, a 7 percent increase from 2012, according to the National Retail Federation.
Nothing has spiked like chicken wings. Wholesale wing prices this week hit an all-time high of $2.04 a pound. (Read More: Downright Un-American! Chicken Wings Prices Up Ahead of Super Bowl.)
David Maloni of the American Restaurant Association provided numbers showing wing prices are up 16 percent in a year, and they're up over 60 percent since 2008. Demand has grown, and last summer's drought made feed so expensive chicken farmers began decreasing supply.
"We've never seen chicken wing pricing as high as they are right now," said John Davie, CEO of Consolidated Concepts, a company which brokers food prices for thousands of mid-sized restaurant chains.
He said some chains are substituting boneless wings and saving about 20 to 25 percent. It turns out that boneless wings are not wings with the bones removed. They're not wings at all.
"There is some excess breast meat out there, and a lot of excess thigh meat," Davie said. "Cheaper than a chicken wing right now."
He said Consolidated Concepts locked in chicken prices for its clients before the drought last summer, saving his clients as much as 15 percent for the next few months.
(Read More: Bowl-Bound Jets Stock Up on Dom Perignon and Wings.)
Here's a shocker. Americans favor vegetables on the Super Bowl menu this year more than pizza and wings.
According to a Nielsen survey, 36 percent of those surveyed will have veggies on the party table, compared to 26 percent for pizza and 24 percent for wings. However, the platter may not include broccoli. Davie said a freeze in California has doubled or tripled prices of some fresh produce and supplies are scarce.
All of this means a volatile 2013 for restaurant prices. Chains don't have the agility to quickly change printed menu prices as quickly as grocery stores can change their food prices. Davie said overall inflation for restaurants in their key commodities—meats—will rise 6 to 8 percent.
"It's pretty concerning for our members, because your average restaurant only runs about a five percent net profit," he said. "We've definitely heard a lot of stories where chains are not even getting a lot of supply and being forced to substitute other items because they literally can't get the supply." (Read More: The Drought's Impact on Food Prices.)
But take heart. Not everything is more expensive right now.
Avocado prices continue to fall. The American Restaurant Association said they've dropped over 30 percent this year, and they're down over 43 percent in five years. Back in 2000, Americans consumed eight million pounds of avocados to for Super Bowl guacamole, according to the Associated Press. Demand has grown tenfold over 13 years, but so has production. California's Calavo Growers (CVGW) reported a bumper crop. However, the tortilla chips dipping into the guac cost more.
(Read More: 12 Most Unusual Super Bowl Bets.)
Maybe it's time to change it up. Instead of the traditional wings and pizza, how about ... bacon? John Davie said pork prices are down for baby back ribs and bacon. Who wouldn't rather have bacon than wings?
—By CNBC's Jane Wells; Follow her on Twitter @janewells
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