- KFC is releasing a new crispy chicken sandwich in select cities.
- The sandwich is notably similar to competitors from Popeyes and Chick-fil-A, restarting the chicken sandwich wars.
- McDonald’s and Burger King are also known to be working on competing sandwiches.
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KFC is reigniting the chicken sandwich wars only one week into 2021 with the introduction of a new sandwich, available in nine US cities starting Thursday.
The fried chicken chain tested the new sandwich in Orlando, Florida last spring, and KFC said that sales were nearly double expectations, so “we knew we had a winner” chief marketing office Andrea Zahumensky said in a statement.
The sandwich, simply called the “KFC Chicken Sandwich,” consists of a quarter-pound of white meat on a brioche bun with pickles and the option of spicy sauce or mayo. Beginning Thursday, it is available in Chicago, Kansas City, Louisville, Portland, St. Louis, Sacramento, San Francisco, Seattle, and Tulsa. By the end of February, customers can order the sandwich at any of the 4000 KFC locations across the US for $3.99.
The chicken sandwich wars have been seemingly cold for some time, although Insider has reported on several chains gearing up to introduce competitors to Chick-fil-A and Popeyes, which both sell crispy chicken sandwiches with pickles. KFC seemingly takes a shot at Chick-fil-A in its statement, saying that the sandwich “will be available seven days a week,” while Chick-fil-A is famously closed on Sundays.
McDonald’s plans to roll out three new chicken sandwiches in late February, and Burger King was spotted testing out a chicken sandwich in October. Wendy’s also released a new “classic chicken sandwich” in October, replacing the older “homestyle chicken sandwich.”
Yum Brands, which owns KFC along with Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and other chains, had a relatively good 2020 compared to other restaurant chains, with sales increasing more than $1 billion in Q3 compared to 2019. KFC sales declined slightly, which was offset by Taco Bell’s gains in a year when the chain cut popular menu items and improved drive-thru performance.