RICHMOND, Va. — Ukrop’s fried chicken is the only thing in Richmond more sought after than a COVID-19 vaccine, according to a study by the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce.
RELATED (article continued below):
- Chicken Bones on Sidewalks Expected To Increase 400% Following Ukrop’s Market Hall Opening
- New Study Reveals 100% of Richmonders Base Grocery Store Options on Whether or Not They Carry Ukrop’s Baked Goods
- Northam Appoints Nutzy With Vaccine T-Shirt Cannon To Head Vaccination Effort
The study, which surveyed approximately 1,500 people across the Richmond metropolitan area, asked participants if they would be willing to stand in line for 20 hours for either a COVID-19 vaccine or a classic 2-piece combo meal, with the latter being deemed more popular by an overwhelming majority. An additional contender for the 20-hour wait was yet another basic IPA produced by one of the two dozen local breweries, which came in a close third.
“We were a little surprised by the results of the survey,” Corey Madison, a market researcher leading the study, explained, adding that while Ukrop’s fried chicken is often described by Virginians as making sweet love to delicious cholesterol, the team didn’t think it would surpass a pandemic-ending vaccine.
“We knew that the chicken, especially when paired with those hot potato wedges and a White House Roll, was beloved by many, we just didn’t think it ranked above the will to live. Our conclusion was that if the fried chicken distribution was the same as the COVID-19 vaccine, there’d be longer lines at the Ukrop’s Market Hall than at Richmond International Raceway’s (RIR) vaccination site.”
The fanatical obsession with acquiring the chicken has spawned the creation of the RVA Ukrop’s Chicken Hunters Facebook group, modeled after the extremely popular RVA Vaccination Hunters page. The Ukrop’s group, which has swelled to over twelve thousand members, offers crowdsourced advice on how to obtain the deep-fried treat, with members of the group offering advice about the best time to get in line, speculating on recipes, and sending alerts when the lines are short. “They just dropped a whole platter of thighs and only six people are in line. Get here now!” said one post.
The Facebook group has also helped to develop a cottage industry of trading vaccine appointments for chicken. For example, a Pfizer or Moderna appointment will earn you an eight-piece meal, but those looking for a one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine are forced to pony up for extra potato wedges and macaroni and cheese.
“The results of our survey have led us to consider pairing the two together as a ‘package deal’ to incentivize more people to get vaccinated,” Madison continued. “But we worry that doing so would risk a riot-like event similar to the Apple iBook catastrophe at RIR in 2005.”
“We’re truly honored that Richmonders hold our products in such high regard,” William Paulson, manager of Ukrop’s Market Hall, said. “But holy shit guys, it’s just a bucket of fried chicken. Please go get vaccinated as soon as you can.”