HOME > Chowhound > Food Media & News >
Brewing beer, curing meat, or making cheese?

Supply and Demand Rears It's Ugly Head with Dark Meat Chicken Prices

MGZ May 1, 2012 06:55 AM

I always cringed when I saw TV chefs touting the virtues of chicken thighs. Moreover, I've always thought that smallish chicken drumsticks made for great Buffalo "wings." Now it seems that my beloved, underappreciated cuts of chicken are going to go the way of beef short ribs, pork shoulders, and other formerly cheap cuts.


  1. drongo May 1, 2012 05:08 PM

    Bittman had a column recently suggesting that the higher prices of meat are a good thing for our health -- http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/...

    He's probably right. I've become vegan 2 to 4 days a week... and feel better for it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: drongo
      hawkeyeui93 May 1, 2012 05:32 PM

      Unfortunately, I live in one of the largest pork producing states in the country and if all else fails, pork is always an inexpensive go-to protein in the Upper Midwest. With that being said, I need to join you in the partial vegan diet.

    2. h
      hawkeyeui93 May 1, 2012 07:12 AM

      What are you paying for dark meat chicken? pork shoulder? I have noticed my local butchers are putting more out for sale since the recession started, but both proteins have remained static price-wise in my part of the Upper Midwest [Central Iowa].

      13 Replies
      1. re: hawkeyeui93
        coll May 1, 2012 07:16 AM

        Haven't seen dark meat chicken for 29 cents like a year or so ago. And pork shoulder is at least 10 to 20 cents a lb more too, at its lowest. But these are different times.

        1. re: coll
          hawkeyeui93 May 1, 2012 07:24 AM

          coll: I perceive more people are eating them due to the times we live in as well ... I haven't seen hind quarters of chicken for 29 cents or less in a year or two as well, but two stores in my area are banging it out at 49 cents a pound this week. In terms of pork shoulder, I live in an area where a lot of pork is processed, so the price has remained static over the past five-plus years.

          1. re: hawkeyeui93
            coll May 1, 2012 07:27 AM

            I was thinking that, 10 cents more is no big deal when you get a whole pork shoulder. Chicken was so cheap I was stocking up on it, but alas my husband refused to eat it. So no matter how cheap, sort of a loser. I'm not so picky, but probably not going to buy in the near future. I did just read the same story elsewhere, and realized all these chicken sausages I've been trying are actually dark meat. Ssshhhh, don't tell hubby!

        2. re: hawkeyeui93
          MGZ May 1, 2012 07:36 AM

          In the past few years, the "sale" prices for shoulders have gone from $.79 to $1.49 a pound, chicken leg base prices from $.59 to $1.19. I'm in Central NJ.

          1. re: MGZ
            coll May 1, 2012 07:42 AM

            On Long Island, I've gotten pork shoulder for $1.09 recently. Whoop di doo.

            1. re: coll
              kengk May 1, 2012 02:41 PM

              Lets figure this out. A half pound of pork shoulder is a bounty for one person's daily intake of meat. Call it 55 cents. How many hours of work do you have to do to earn 55 cents?

              It makes me crazy when we Americans complain about the cost of food.

              Here is a good subject for a doctoral thesis, how many American families could eat a healthy diet for less money than their cable tv and cell phone bills?

              1. re: kengk
                hawkeyeui93 May 1, 2012 02:51 PM

                Some Americans on fixed incomes/limited incomes/unemployed are fully justified complaining about food prices, especially when they are struggling to pay their mortgages, high energy prices, etc.

                1. re: hawkeyeui93
                  kengk May 1, 2012 03:50 PM

                  "Chicken was so cheap I was stocking up on it, but alas my husband refused to eat it."

                  This is the point I was trying to make. I have empathy for folks that are struggling but people who are truly hungry or in danger of suffering malnutrition don't refuse to eat cheap chicken.

                  1. re: kengk
                    coll May 1, 2012 04:10 PM

                    My husband refused only due to health issues, he would starve to death if I didn't pamper him unfortunately. But you are right about that in general, I do agree.

                    1. re: coll
                      kengk May 1, 2012 04:19 PM

                      Thank you, I would be dead as a door knob If I had to eat fried eggs for a living. : )

                      My lovely wife does the grocery shopping and I do the cooking. She always complains about the bill but I point out that half the "grocery" bill is not for food. Cleaners, toiletries, beauty products ( she is quite beautiful), sodas etc. take up a huge portion.

                      Those of us who are so lucky to live where we don't have to worry about starving to death should be more grateful.

                      Complaining is good though, I like to bitch about my coworkers attire.

                    2. re: kengk
                      hawkeyeui93 May 1, 2012 04:12 PM

                      kengk: I tend to agree, but if he refused to eat it for health reasons, then his refusal may be fully justified. Although I do not mind dark meat chicken (and surely grew up eating it in my working class family), when it comes to fried, I prefer the breast and wing.

                  2. re: kengk
                    MGZ May 2, 2012 04:25 AM

                    It is probably true that Americans are more likely to die from complications of obesity than starvation. Nevertheless, you seem to have missed the point of the instant lament. In a relatively short period of time, many of the food geeks' favorite, underappreciated cuts of meat have become popular. It's akin to having your favorite, undiscovered, hole-in-the-wall eatery become so popular there are suddenly waits for tables. The price increases are basically just insult to injury.

                    Hawkeye's point suggested that perhaps the popularity of the cheaper cuts was borne out of economic necessity for some, as opposed to a growing demand based on other factors as suggested by the referenced article. In any event, it's not complaining about the rising cost of food, but what may be inferred from such change.

                    1. re: MGZ
                      kengk May 2, 2012 05:08 AM

                      I do get it. I can afford to eat anything or anywhere I want. Still enjoy getting those leg quarters on sale for .29-.49/lb or getting 3-4 pork shoulders when they are less than a dollar.

                      The cheap chicken is in the past for me though, I started back raising my own a couple years ago and figure I have about $50 a chicken in the ones we eat now. : (

            Show Hidden Posts