When I first saw Rick Ross’ grandeur commercial for Wingstop’s new Thighstop while scrolling through my Twitter feed I thought it was a spoof. Watching the self-appointed national Wingstop ambassador and multiple Wingstop owner Rick Ross declare that Wingstop will be selling chicken thighs due to the U.S. chicken wing shortage was comical yet intriguing.
Comical because eating wing tossed chicken thighs seems like something that would be in a “Saturday Night Live” skit, intriguing because who wouldn’t want to try a crispy wing tossed chicken thigh? After Wingstop announced on Monday ( June 21) that they’d be launching their groundbreaking new brand Thighstop, and Rick Ross’ flashy Thighstop commercial dropped, people were rushing to their nearest Wingstop.
Within the last three days there have been several Thighstop review videos uploaded to YouTube and an entire Twitter thread dedicated to the deliciousness of Thighstop. Some Wingstop fans even indulged in the boneless thigh options that are also offered at Thighstop.
“So my f’tass tried some @thighstop today. These thighs look like they came from normal chickens, not Foghorn Leghorn.Fried well, not too hard. We got them in Cajun & Louisiana Rub. Overall, I’d give em 8/10, only losing points because our fries had a difficult life.” one Thighstop customer tweeted.
With everyone ranting and raving about the amazingness of Thighstop I question if chicken thighs will be our future. Could in the next few years we see new restaurants pop up in the U.S. that only sell flavored chicken thigh pieces? Since wing prices have increased from $70-90 per case to $150 just within the last few months it’s no wonder that Wingstop is shifting gears and possibly starting a new trend.
As noted by Spectrum News, “ according to the National Chicken Council, coronavirus outbreaks in meat processing plants, and a winter storm that impacted farms in Texas had a domino effect on the industry.” Although the COVID-19 pandemic impacted chicken wing production, demands for chicken wings remained and even expanded .
According to the National Chicken Council, restaurants that served chicken wings saw a 7% increase in 2020, compared to the 11% decline that commercial restaurants saw in the same year. Even retail and supermarket wing sales during the pandemic months went up 10.3%, totaling in sales of $3 billion, according to the National Chicken Council.
As the wing demand climbs, and the wing shortage remains, improvisation is needed. Hence Thighstop. While some may have partiality to white meat, e.g. wings, thighs may be the next best thing since they’re not much bigger than wings nor taste much different when fried.
Also, thighs are “much less expensive” than wings, Charlie Morrison, Chairman and CEO of Wingstop told CNN Business. Thighs also cost half of what wings cost per pound, according to CNN. Right now, Wingstop is the first to make lemons out of lemonade, or in their case wings out of thighs. Let’s see if other wing spots or restaurants hop on the same wave.