The great supply chain crisis is coming for your chicken tenders

Chicken tender prices are on the rise and stocks are running low.

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Chicken tenders on a tray
Photo: Susan L. Angstadt/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle (Getty Images)

These gosh darn pandemic-induced supply chain issues just keep coming. Ever since the great unshelving of 2020, we’ve seen a shortage of things like canned goods and chicken wings—heck, the U.K. nearly ran out of beer. Well, prepare to hear the cries of children around the world for this next potential loss: chicken tenders are now in short supply.

TODAY reports that because the tenders (which are different from nuggets!) require more processing and more packaging, they’re going to be harder to find and more expensive if you are able to spot them. In the last year, the price of tenders has gone up nearly a dollar a pound. Meanwhile, chains like KFC and A&W are specifically pulling chicken tenders from all promotions to avoid selling out. A representative of Hattie B’s Hot Chicken in Nashville told TODAY that while their tenders are more expensive, they haven’t yet increased menu prices out of fear that no one would pay the cost. Instead, businesses like Hattie B’s are just living with the shrinking profit margin.

This news is especially troubling, it seems, to parents who rely on those tenders to keep their little ones satisfied. “The shelves have been empty recently, restaurants have been out of chicken tenders, and that makes it very difficult when you have kids that have limited options,” one mom told TODAY. “When I come home from the store and I don’t have any chicken tenders, my kids are not happy.” There is nothing quite like the wrath of a hungry child.

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While grocery store shelves might be hit or miss, as of now we’re not seeing any chains pull chicken tenders from their menus completely. Still, this might be your chance to really savor your favorite fast food tenders while you can, just in case. Worst case scenario, time to learn how to make chicken tenders the old-fashioned way.