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Burger King US to launch crispy chicken sandwich later this year

Burger King is finally unveiling its own brand new fried chicken sandwich — a year and a half after Popeyes kicked off the crispy chicken sandwich wars in the summer of 2019.

The chain announced today that it is set to introduce a hand-breaded chicken sandwich later this year, and has been working on perfecting the recipe since 2019.  

It can be ordered regular or spicy, as is made with white meat chicken breast, a potato bun, pickles, and signature sauce.

Yum! Burger King announced today that it is set to introduce a hand-breaded chicken sandwich later this year, and has been working on perfecting the recipe since 2019

In a press release, Burger King promised that the new sandwich is ‘just as good as one you could get from the big chicken guys.’

‘What if hand-breading were to chicken what flame-grilling is to burgers? That’s been our guiding filter to bring a delicious chicken sandwich to guests in a way only BK can,’ said Ellie Doty, chief marketing officer, Burger King North America. 

‘We’ll take the time to get it right and our guests will definitely taste the difference.’

The sandwich has been in the works since 2019, and they’ve been testing it since last fall.

In October of 2020, Chew Boom reported that it was testing Original, Lettuce and Tomato, and Cheddar Bacon varieties in select locations in Phoenix, Arizona.

Now they’ve settled on the final product, which can be ordered as ‘original’ or with a spicy kick. While it automatically comes with sauce and pickles, customers can also choose to add lettuce and tomato.   

‘Since we aren’t down to half a** the process, we plan to introduce our sandwich later this year. We promise it will be worth the wait,’ said the brand.

Flashback: Popeyes inspired chaos in the US with its first ever fried chicken sandwich in the summer of 2019

Flashback: Popeyes inspired chaos in the US with its first ever fried chicken sandwich in the summer of 2019

Must-have: The sandwich sold out in weeks and didn't return until November of that year (pictured: a NY location in August 2019)

Must-have: The sandwich sold out in weeks and didn’t return until November of that year (pictured: a NY location in August 2019)

The sandwich inspired countless comical social media posts and even a 'sexy' Yandy Halloween costume

The sandwich inspired countless comical social media posts and even a ‘sexy’ Yandy Halloween costume 

The announcement is just the latest in a series of chicken sandwich menu additions, which were kicked off in the summer of 2019. 

The sandwich first hit stores in early August of that year, marking the first time in the company’s then-45-year history that it had added a chicken sandwich to the menu on a nationwide level.

The sandwich earned so much attention that other fast food chains, including Wendy’s, Chick-fil-A, and Shake Shack, immediately began feuding on Twitter over which restaurant’s version is the best. 

Popeyes’ sandwich earned even more buzz when restaurants couldn’t meet the demand and sold out in less than a month, leaving some customers throwing fits, attacking employees, and even suing the chain.

Furious food fans took to social media to complain that they couldn’t get their hands on the menu item, begging Popeyes to restock.

Going, going, gone! Customers were disappointed when it was quickly sold out

Going, going, gone! Customers were disappointed when it was quickly sold out

So sad, so hungry... Several disappointed customers shared signs hung up in their restaurants proclaiming that there are no sandwiches left

So sad, so hungry… Several disappointed customers shared signs hung up in their restaurants proclaiming that there are no sandwiches left

In late August 2019, an irate Popeyes customer climbed through a drive-thru window before brawling with three employees when he learned the sandwich was sold out. 

And Craig Barr, of East Ridge, Tennessee filed a $5,000 lawsuit against the fast food chain alleging false advertising’ and ‘deceptive business practices’ by the company because he couldn’t get his hands on their famous chicken sandwich.  

Lingerie retailer Yandy even created a ‘Sold Out Chicken Sandwich’ costume ($79.95) — which is still available for the marked-down price of $63.88.

By early November on 2019, Popeyes’ sandwich was back in stores, and has remained a staple on the chain’s menu.

Yum! KFC is in the process of rolling out its 'best chicken sandwich ever,' a quarter-pound double-breaded Extra Crispy chicken breast filet on a brioche bun with pickles and mayo

Yum! KFC is in the process of rolling out its ‘best chicken sandwich ever,’ a quarter-pound double-breaded Extra Crispy chicken breast filet on a brioche bun with pickles and mayo

Meanwhile, other fast food chains have scrambled to update their own fried chicken sandwiches to get in on the action. 

In January, KFC debuted its ‘best chicken sandwich ever,’ a quarter-pound double-breaded Extra Crispy chicken breast filet on a brioche bun with pickles and mayo or spicy sauce.

The new offering is set to be in all US locations by the end of February, and customers can check the chain’s website until then to track where it’s rolled out so far.

‘We tested the new KFC Chicken Sandwich in Orlando last spring, and we nearly doubled our sales expectations, so we knew that we had a winner,’ Andrea Zahumensky, chief marketing officer for KFC U.S., said in a press release at the time.

‘Many customers hadn’t considered KFC as a part of the chicken sandwich conversation, but anyone who tastes this sandwich will know, without a doubt, that we’re playing to win.’

Eat up! McDonald's is finally set to join the chicken sandwich war later this month when it launches three versions of the popular fast food dish ¿ classic (right), deluxe (left), and spicy

Eat up! McDonald’s is finally set to join the chicken sandwich war later this month when it launches three versions of the popular fast food dish — classic (right), deluxe (left), and spicy

Delicious: All versions of the sandwich, including the classic (pictured), will contain  a crispy white meat chicken fillet served with crinkle-cut pickles on a toasted, buttered potato roll

Delicious: All versions of the sandwich, including the classic (pictured), will contain  a crispy white meat chicken fillet served with crinkle-cut pickles on a toasted, buttered potato roll

Experiments: McDonald's added chicken sandwiches to its breakfast menus at all of its U.S. restaurants in January 2020

Experiments: McDonald’s added chicken sandwiches to its breakfast menus at all of its U.S. restaurants in January 2020

That same week, McDonald’s confirmed its plans to launch three varieties of a new crispy chicken sandwich — ‘classic,’ ‘deluxe,’ and ‘spicy’ — on February 24. 

All three will contain a new crispy white meat chicken fillet served with crinkle-cut pickles on a toasted, buttered potato roll.

According to Reuters, McDonald’s decision to lean in to the chicken sandwich trend cames as a result of the long-term popularity of its Chicken McNuggets, which have been a permanent menu item since the 1980s. In 2020, the chain released a limited run of Spicy Chicken McNuggets, which contributed to its highest September sales in nearly a decade.  

‘As commonplace as chicken is, it’s a growth area. You want to participate in that growth,’ said Mark Kalinowski, an independent restaurant equities analyst.

The chain had previously tested two new chicken sandwiches in December 2019 and January 2020 in Houston, Texas, and Knoxville, Tennessee.  

Also in January 2020, McDonald’s added a different type of fried chicken sandwich to the menu: breakfast sandwiches.

They included Chicken McGriddles — crispy chicken served between two sweet griddle cakes — and McChicken Biscuit sandwiches — the same chicken between two biscuit halves.

Ta-da! Cinnabon included a  CinnaBiscuit Chicken Sandwich in its Frozen Breakfast Creations grocery line

Ta-da! Cinnabon included a  CinnaBiscuit Chicken Sandwich in its Frozen Breakfast Creations grocery line

Earlier this year, Shake Shack also debuted a Korean-style Fried Chick’n Sandwich, made with gochujang, a fermented red chili paste. 

The limited-time menu item is made with a gochujang-glazed crispy chicken breast, toasted sesame seeds, and white kimchi slaw. 

Jack in the Box also launched a limited-time Cluck Sandwich in December, while Wendy’s debuted a Classic Chicken Sandwich in October to replace its Wendy’s Homestyle Chicken Sandwich.

Finally, Cinnabon put out a new line of Frozen Breakfast Creations that shoppers can buy at grocery stores in September, which included the CinnaBiscuit Chicken Sandwich — which comes with fried chicken, cinnamon chip biscuits, and cinnamon sauce.


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