Americans are expected to eat 100 pounds of chicken per person this year," NBC News' reported on the Dec. 2 broadcast "Tenders require more processing to package and sell, which industry experts say is part of the reason why they can be harder to find and now more costly when you get them in your local market."
And it's not just grocery stores that may be impacted by a potential shortage of chicken tenders. In September, KFC made the decision to pause showing chicken tenders in advertisements. "On chicken tenders, we have enough to supply demand, but we would love to have more to be able to aggressively promote it on TV," KFC U.S. President Kevin Hochman told Bloomberg that month. "In terms of advertising and promotion, we're going to focus on things we have abundant quantities of" such as bone-in chicken.
Fast-food chains are already paying higher prices to keep their freezers stocked. That raises the possibility that costs could be passed along to hungry customers.