WASHNGTON – Should an extended National Football League lockout occur, it would seriously damage the US chicken wing industry, said Joe Sanderson, chairman and CEO of Sanderson Farms, during the Reuters Global Food and Agriculture Summit held last week. Sanderson Farms is one of the largest suppliers of chicken wings to foodservice companies, according to the National Chicken Council’s March 18 edition of its Washington Report.

Especially on Sundays when the NFL games are being played, chicken wings are popular menu items at sports bars. What’s more, wholesale chicken wing prices usually climb steadily in the weeks preceding the Super Bowl.

To date NFL team owners and players have been unable to come to terms on a number of labor issues, and a federal court will hear an antitrust suit filed by NFL players on April 6. Sanderson remains hopeful that an agreement will be reached. “This thing will be resolved, it’s going to be a great season and a great season for wings,” he said.