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The Margin: Good news for Super Bowl party hosts: Chicken-wing prices are down 22%

Some food favorites for football-watching have become less expensive, but how much cheaper would your spread be? Read More...

The price of food has increased 10.4% compared with a year ago, according to the latest government statistics. But there may be good news for those planning a Super Bowl party centered on the big game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs: Your food costs could actually be lower than they were in 2022.

Or at least that’s the assessment from Wells Fargo WFC, +0.74%, which does an annual survey of several key game-day food items.

The reason party planners may experience some relief: Prices for chicken wings and avocados (the key guacamole input) — two of the most popular offerings at any Super Bowl bash — have dropped considerably. Wings are down by 22% and avocados by 20%.

Various factors, such as supply-chain issues, contributed to higher prices for some food items last year, especially wings, said Wells Fargo chief agricultural economist Michael Swanson.

But this year, prices have eased in some instances. Swanson said lower freight rates have contributed to that shift. “Freight costs were through the roof last year,” he said.

Avocado prices are dipping because this past year saw a strong crop due to increased plantings, the Wells Fargo report noted.

The Super Bowl savings extend to those who like to grill a steak on game day: Sirloin steak prices have dropped by about a dollar per pound over the past year.

Not that all game-day items are lower. If you want something to drink while enjoying those wings, steaks and guacamole, be prepared to pay. Beer prices are up by 11% and soda prices by 25%.

As Swanson noted, inflation can be very “item specific.” But even when prices are higher for some game-day foods, he said that consumers can always benefit by shopping around, since supermarkets will run specials on different items.

“You might want to visit two or three stores to save some money,” he said.

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