Buffalo Wild Wings undaunted by McDonald's

The Minnesota chain's stock has greatly outperformed the Golden Arches. It's not intimidated by the 'Mighty Wings' experiment.

By Jonathan Berr Jan 10, 2013 12:45PM
Credit: 2013 Buffalo Wild Wings
Caption: Buffalo Wild WIngsIf Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) is worried about the decision of McDonald's (MCD) to test market chicken wings, it sure isn't showing it.

"Our growth and success demonstrates the demand and growing popularity of chicken wings among consumers," says Kathy Benning, the company's executive vice president of global brand and business development, in statement to MSN Money. "It's no surprise that others want to tap into something we've known for years: people love wings."

Benning is right of course.

Chicken wings are surging in popularity and McDonald's, which has been struggling lately, could use a hit. The company has begun a month-long test of what it calls "Mighty Wings" at 500 restaurants in the Chicago area following an earlier successful test in Atlanta.

McDonald's posted its first monthly sales drop in October in nine years. The company posted a better-than-expected sales gain in November but analysts aren't sure if the chain is out of the woods. 

The National Chicken Council, a trade group, estimated that more than 25 billion wing portions were sold last year. During Super Bowl Sunday alone, more than 1.25 billion portions were consumed. Think of it this way: If all those wings were lined up end-to-end, they would circle the circumference of the earth more than twice. A sports talk radio station in Philadelphia, 94 WIP, has for 21 years sponsored a competitive wing eating contest dubbed Wing Bowl. The event is scheduled for Feb. 1 at the city's Wells Fargo Center and is sold out.
 
Buffalo Wild Wings, which sells more than 21 million traditional and boneless wings each week, is a Wall Street favorite. Shares of the Minnesota chain have surged more than 12% over the past year compared with an 8.2% decline for McDonald's. The smaller chain's performance is remarkable given that Wall Street was spooked after the company reported weaker-than-expected results in the third quarter. 

The casual-dining chain is a favorite among sports fans. It has been steadily raising prices and is expecting 2012 earnings growth of 15%.

And that ain't chicken feed.

--Jonathan Berr owns a McNugget-sized stake in McDonald's. Follow him on Twitter @jdberr

More on Money Now




Tags: FoodMCD
24Comments
Jan 10, 2013 4:10PM
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I certainly wouldn't go to McDonald's over B-Dubs for wings.  There's no way McDonald's will offer a sauce as hot as Blazin'.  I want my wings to make me sweat and give me fire hole the next day.

Jan 10, 2013 4:36PM
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Turn down the lights. Put up a few 54" flat screens and serve beer and I might try a few McWingers?
Jan 10, 2013 6:02PM
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Steadily raising prices...Yup just a matter of time before they price themselves out and go belly up.  Greed always kills a good thing.
Jan 10, 2013 5:04PM
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Buffalo Wild Wings, sports, cold beer. That is fun. First heard of it on the Dan Patrick show. Sports of course. McDonalds just does not sound fun.

Jan 10, 2013 5:25PM
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I prefer the local wing place here.  BWW sauces are meh and the wings are greasy.  I can't even stomach the stench of McD's. 

Jan 10, 2013 8:03PM
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Micky D's  Wings would remind me of their McRibs,  minced chicken gizzards with lips, formed into a wing shaped mold and soaked in a shitty cheap BBQ sauce for 6 bucks, then you suffer heartburn, and diarrhea  and  swear to god you Never eat another one again ! hell, you may never want another chicken wing again, why risk it?
Jan 10, 2013 6:31PM
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Probably all beaks and feet pressed into the shape of a wing.

much like te McRib with simulated grill marks.

Slap some sauce on there..

 

Jan 10, 2013 4:50PM
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I'm pretty much done with McDonald's and actually all fast food.........nothing but poison. Sickness and death waiting in a box. Nothing good comes out of those places!
Jan 10, 2013 6:04PM
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500 McD's in the chitcago area no wonder all them folks is killin' each udder!
Jan 10, 2013 6:28PM
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I HATE BUFFALO WILD WINGS! YUK! MC DONALDS IS JUST JUNK FOOD SO WHAT DO YOU EXPECT?? IT IS WHAT IT IS. WHO

THE HELL EATS THOSE NASTY LOOKING MCRIBS????? WORSE THAN CHEAP HOTDOGS! IS THAT EVEN MEAT?

Jan 10, 2013 6:25PM
Jan 10, 2013 7:00PM
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Nobody can do chicken wings like Buffalo Wild Wings!  They are consistently good from one restaurant to another in any state, if you are lucky enough to find them where you maybe staying!

 

Jan 10, 2013 5:30PM
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restaurants = nasty, nasty, nasty.

mcD doesn't qualify as anything near what I call food.
Jan 10, 2013 6:21PM
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Steadily raising prices is right. I may go there a couple of times a year, but I end up just buying their sauces and doing bigger, better wings at home.
Jan 10, 2013 6:26PM
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Think about mcd everytime a chicken truck wrecks.
Jan 10, 2013 6:02PM
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Two restaurants serving sh!t and calling it food.
Jan 10, 2013 4:33PM
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Dear Friends:

Two different market places.  ONe has beer and the other does not.       No competition!  Just hope there is enough chilckens!    Which comes first the chicken hen or the egg?

Jan 10, 2013 3:24PM
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they need too stick with chicken nuggets call emm boneless wings.. greedy suckas
Jan 10, 2013 4:40PM
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BWW sucks... Go to wingstop much better flavor. 
Jan 10, 2013 4:52PM
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I like KFC original recipe chicken wings
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