McDonald's Chicken Wings: Coming Soon?

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McDonald's could soon be adding "Mighty Wings" to its chicken menu near you.

The world's biggest hamburger chain is set to expand its test of chicken wings to Chicago this week, after a successful run in Atlanta last year.

McDonalds Wings

The McDonald's wings are expected to be sold in three, five or 10 pieces with prices likely starting at $3, according to reports. But will they go national?

For McDonald's, which has 14,000 U.S. locations, adding wings to the permanent lineup could be tricky - and not just because of complicated recipes.

Prices for chicken wings have been climbing over the past year, reflecting an increase in the number of restaurants serving them, analysts say.

In December, the cost of wings in the wholesale market in the Northeast was 26 percent higher than 2011. Wings sold for $1.90 a pound that month.

That's compared with $1.30 a pound for boneless, skinless chicken breasts.

Rather than becoming a permanent part of the menu, McDonald's could offer the dish for a limited time as a special promotion that also increases variety.

But whether it will offer "Mighty Wings" even on a limited-time basis will likely depend on McDonald's ability to get chicken wings at reasonable prices.

The test comes amid intensifying competition for McDonald's.

This past spring, Burger King launched its biggest ever menu expansion to include its own snack wraps, fruit smoothies and specialty coffee drinks.

Last week, BK even introduced chicken nuggets that more closely resemble McNuggets, replacing the usual chicken tenders it previously sold.

In addition, newer chains such as Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. and Panera Bread Co. serve higher-quality food for slightly higher prices, hurting McDs.

In October, McDonald's said a key sales figure dropped for the first time in nearly a decade; it rebounded after renewed focus on the Dollar Menu.