There’s no doubt that chicken wings are one of America’s favorite appetizers. Perfect for game day, barbecues, or just about any occasion, buffalo wings are so popular because they can be customized to nearly any palate. Classic, boneless, naked, plus a number of flavor and sauce combinations make wings an easy choice for so many. Here, let's take a look at some of the best when it comes to chicken wing trends.
Trending Sauces and Flavors
When thinking about a basket of wings slathered in sauce, one variety usually comes to mind: classic buffalo wings. A tried-and-true favorite, classic buffalo sauce is still the top pick when it comes to wing flavors and popular wing sauces, beating out all other sauces by a landslide. There’s just something about that spicy, buttery sauce that’s so distinct and keeps people coming back for more that makes it the best wing sauce.
When looking at wing sauce trends, there are two other popular wing sauces on the rise: mango habanero and hot barbecue. Both of these sauces have a little kick to them but offer up something new when compared to classic buffalo sauce. A little sweet and a little spicy, the best of both worlds.
When it comes to the best wing flavors, buffalo is still the top choice, followed by barbecue and spicy. Some of the fastest-growing flavor pairings include red chile, jalapeño, chipotle, ginger, and mango. Pepper and lemon pepper are the most common herbs and spices paired with wings, while salt and ginger are trending this year.
Related: The Scoop on the Fermented Hot Sauce Trend
Get ‘Em While They’re Hot
Several restaurant chains are offering tasty, exciting, limited-time wing offerings in 2022. In January, Taco Bell kicked things off with Crispy Chicken Wings, an order of five wings coated in a Mexican queso seasoning and served with a ranch dipping sauce. In December 2021, Applebee’s introduced Cheetos Wings, 10 wings coated in either Original or Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Sauce and seasoned with Cheetos crumbles. While they’re no longer at Applebee’s, wing lovers can get them at Cosmic Wings.
Duffy’s Sports Grill has its tasty Grilled Korean BBQ Wings that it brings back from time to time. Last on the menu in October 2021, these sticky wings offer notes of sweet and spicy that people can’t get enough of. In fact, sweet and spicy is one of the most popular wing trends of the last year. Wings and Rings offered breaded or boneless wings with sweet and spicy Blueberry BBQ sauce that fans just couldn’t get enough of in December 2021.
Related: The Top Sauce Trends for National Sauce Month 2022
New Items on the Menu
Besides limited-time offerings, several chains are adding new wing dishes to their permanent menus. In late 2021, these new items were added.
Mellow Mushroom Wings at Cloud9 Wings: juicy, double-baked wings slathered in garlic-Parmesan sauce and topped with grated Parmesan.
Boneless Wings at Golden Chick: boneless bites slathered in either garlic-Parmesan, classic buffalo, or Korean BBQ sauce.
Thigh Bites at Wingstop: juicy, breaded bits of thigh meat bathed in a classic Wingstop sauce.
Gridiron Wings at Hurricane Grill & Wings: crispy wings marinated in a rub made of Cajun and jerk seasonings and caramelized to perfection.
Wing fanatics love the old favorite, classic buffalo, but the combination of sweet and spicy is on the rise. With new offerings highlighting these flavor profiles, these are sure to be the top wing trends through the rest of 2023.
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