The fast food Super Bowl: Pizza versus wings

When it comes to American stomachs, the big cage match today will be between Italian pies and fowl limbs. This Super Bowl weekend, some 1.23 billion chicken wings will be consumed, according to the National Chicken Council’s 2013 Wing Report. (No, we’re not making this up.) Some 4 million pizzas were devoured during the big game last year.

Here’s how these two contenders match-up off the field and on Wall Street.

1)  The U.S. pizza market is a $40 billion annual industry, according to a 2012 survey by Pizza (Slogan: “Deep Dish Insights”.) About 97% of American adults eat pizza on a regular basis.

2)  Some 27% of consumers get their pizzas through restaurants and delivery/pick up services, which works out to about 410 million pizzas a year. Domino’s delivery drivers will log about 4 million miles on Super Bowl Sunday.

3)  Research firm IBISWorld predicts that pizza industry revenue will increase an average 2.9% a year from 2012 through 2017—double the growth from the previous five-year period.

4)  If you want to invest in Big Pizza, Yum Brands’ (YUM) Pizza Hut chain, Papa John’s International (PZZA) and Domino’s (DPZ) control about 30% of industry sales, according to Pizza

YUM Chart

YUM data by YCharts

5)  About those 1.23 billion wings set to be eaten during 2013 Super Bowl festivities: If those chicken parts were laid end to end, they would stretch from Candlestick Park in San Francisco to M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore 27 times, according to the 2013 Wing report.

6)  Last year’s drought and higher feed costs in poultry country mean fewer birds and higher prices this Super Bowl season, the National Chicken Council reports. Wholesale wing prices are about $2.11 per pound in the Northeast, up 14% from last year and the highest price on record at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

7)  Chicken wing eaters in the Northeast tend to prefer bleu cheese dressing. Other parts of the USA like ranch, the most popular dipping sauce nationally.

8)  Fresh and prepared chicken wings are about a $1.6 billion annual industry and grew 5.4% in 2012, according to Nielsen Perishables Group FreshFacts data.

9)  Looking for chicken stock plays? Tyson Foods (TSN), Sanderson Farms (SAFM) and Pilgrim’s Pride (PPC) are the major publicly traded poultry producers.

TSN Chart

TSN data by YCharts

Photo: woodleywonderworks

The investments discussed are held in client accounts as of February 1. These investments may or may not be currently held in client accounts. The reader should not assume that any investments identified were or will be profitable or that any investment recommendations or investment decisions we make in the future will be profitable.