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Are NFL Anthem Protests Responsible For Slumping Chicken Wing Sales?

Examining cause and effect relationships helps us to understand why things turn out the way that they do. This is especially true in the world of business. For example, a clear understanding of why customers think that you’re great - as well as why they don’t - can help your decision-making process immensely. When armed with this information, companies can make the tweaks necessary to ensure that there’s a whole lot more of the former than the latter.

Of course, cause and effect relationships can be much more complex than that. At times, there are things that are completely beyond your control that can lead your sales to tank. The economy as whole consists of a ton of moving pieces, but those pieces can easily be disrupted by an apple cart that gets upended a half a world away. Sometimes, it takes a little poking around to figure out what the trouble is, especially when sales go down during what should be a busy time of the year for your company.

As the Daily Dot shares, Joe F. Sanderson Jr., the CEO of one of the largest poultry producers in the country, Sanderson Farms, has engaged in some of that internal reflection of late. While the company is doing well on an overall basis, a red flag has emerged in the examination of recent results. Chicken wing sales are down, and that’s rather unusual for this time of the year.

Chicken wings tend to fly off the shelves during football season, as it normally seems like fans can’t get enough of them. That hasn’t been the case so far this season, and Sanderson and company have a pretty good clue as to why that’s the case. He explained his theory after a recent conference call.

“It’s just been reported to us that some of our customers think that their traffic is down because of the demonstrations by some of the NFL players,” he said.

Sanderson is not the first CEO to theorize that the anthem protests has hurt his business. Earlier this year, Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter made headlines when he directly called the NFL out for the protests.

“The NFL has hurt us. We are disappointed the NFL and its leadership did not resolve this …” he said.

Schnatter’s comments struck a chord, and his remarks soon became a hot topic on social media. Scores of folks that didn’t agree with what he had to say piled on and roundly blasted the company. Then things got even worse. An obscure alt-right website applauded his comments, and Papa John’s was suddenly dubbed the ‘official pizza of the alt-right.’ The furor would eventually die down and go away, but Schnatter and his brand took a substantial hit.

Is that going to happen to Sanderson and company in the wake of his remarks? That’s tough to say, but it would take a reach of epic proportions for his remarks to be dubbed as inflammatory. He was merely relaying information that has come directly from his customers, who gave him their best possible answer on why their own sales are down. The anthem protests have led some viewers to tune out of the NFL entirely, so this is just a natural cause and effect relationship that has absolutely nothing to do with the validity or necessity of the protests themselves.

Source: Daily Dot
Photo: Wikimedia Commons, YouTube

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