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Can You Spare 10 Million Pounds of Chicken Wings?

McDonald's "Mighty Wings"
McDonald's "Mighty Wings"
Malcolm Bedell

After quietly dropping them from the menu a few months ago in the face of low sales and mostly lukewarm reviews, Mighty Wings have reappeared on drive-through menu boards nationwide.

Why the sudden reappearance of America's "meh"-iest chicken wings?

With the launch of Mighty Wings, McDonald's was swinging wildly for the fences. After convincing themselves that the public was ready for meat to have bones, the food scientists in the McDonald's Test Kitchen were certain they had a hit on their hands. In fact, they were so convinced of the potential success of their new product, that they bought a few extra chicken wings to meet the inevitable demand. Except that when McDonald's buys "a few" of something, that number is fifty million.

That's right. McDonald's bought fifty million chicken wings, stockpiling them over the course of around 18 months, more than doubling the wholesale price of chicken since 2011 in the process. 

See also: McDonald's Chicken "Mighty Wings": Animals Have Bones!

Though we reviewed them mostly favorably back in September, the drive-thru dining public didn't agree. McDonald's new wings were too spicy, the advertising was kind of weird, and they were just too damned expensive. Originally priced at $5.59 for five pieces, a buck a wing just couldn't compete with the specialty chain wing retailers and the Ten-Cent Tuesdays of the sports bar down the street.

So what's the company doing with their leftover ten million pounds of chicken - that's likely been sitting in cold storage since last year? McDonald's has tweaked the formula somewhat to make the spice levels of the breaded wings a little easier for the average palate to bear, and introduced new bargain-basement, everything-must-go pricing: Five wings will now set you back only three bucks, or around 60 cents per wing.

It's unclear if the menu item will remain after McDonald's runs through their inventory surplus, so if eating chicken wings while looking at a clown is high on your list of must-dos (and it really should be), grab a box before they disappear for good.

See also: Is McDonald's Fish Sandwich What Fast Food Is Supposed to Be?


Malcolm Bedell blogs about cooking and food weirdness at From Away. Follow him on FacebookTwitter or InstagramWant more Squid Ink? Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.


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