DALLAS – Wingstop, a quick-service concept that specializes in chicken wings as a center-of-plate item, recently launched a virtual brand called Thighstop to mitigate rising prices for chicken wings.

Chicken production lagged at the start of 2021, but a rebound appears to be on the horizon, according to US Department of Agriculture data. Tom Super, spokesman for the National Chicken Council, said the supply of chicken is tight but stopped short of saying there is a chicken shortage. He attributed the cause of tight supplies of chicken to extreme weather that impacted a wide swath of poultry producing states in the United States.

Thighstop is offering chicken thighs and 11 flavors of sauce. In addition to bone-in thighs, Thighstop is also introducing breaded boneless thighs — a take on Wingstop’s boneless wings. Wingstop’s signature ranch and blue cheese dips, fresh-cut seasoned fries, fried corn and rolls are also available via Thighstop.com.

“Wingstop pioneered the concept of chicken wings as a center-of-the-plate item,” said Charlie Morrison, chief executive officer of Thighstop. “Although Thighstop is in its infancy, we’ve been exploring bone-in and boneless thighs as center-of-the-plate options for some time now as a way to offer fans new ways to enjoy Wingstop’s bold, distinctive and craveable flavors.

“We’re excited to bring Thighstop to the masses in a way that’s familiar and convenient to consumers by providing the option of delivery or carryout through our delivery partner DoorDash,” Morrison said.

Demand for dark meat chicken is growing. Read CoBank’s analysis of the trend from 2019.