We're in the heart of flu season's perfect storm, according to the Food and Drug Administration. This doesn't come as a news flash to this country's flu sufferers. And while we humans grouse about our aches and pains, chickens stew as growing legions of the birds plunge into pots and give their all to satiate our seasonal appetite for that ultimate flu-killer — chicken noodle soup.
People have never been shy about profiting from national epidemics, but chickens are really the only ones with any skin in the game, unless you count accelerated harvesting of orange groves, diverted matzo grain and eggs (there, the chicken again!) or increased volumes of the day-glow food colorings that give Gatorade its spectral hue.
Fighting flu on the front lines is Seamless.com, a mobile and online service for ordering delivery and takeout food from restaurants in the United States and the U.K. The company said that it has seen chicken noodle soup and orange juice orders skyrocket this January, presumably due to the extra-strong flu season.
From January 1 to January 14, chicken noodle soup orders increased 35 percent over January 2012. There was also a 37 percent increase in matzo ball soup orders, 10 percent increase in Gatorade orders and 19 percent increase in orange juice orders.
In just one month (December 2012 to January 2013), the average number of chicken noodle soup orders on Seamless increased by 36 percent, while the average number of orange juice orders increased 15 percent.
In addition to its website, Seamless offers a full suite of mobile apps through which people can order their favorite flu remedies from the comfort of their homes.
"January has been an especially difficult time for flu sufferers," said Ryan Scott, VP of marketing for Seamless. "Luckily, the next best thing to having your mom nurse you back to health is Seamless.com."