BREAKING: McDonald’s just announced plans to launch a spicy chicken sandwich later this year.
Hot off the heels of the Popeye’s absurdly viral chicken sandwich launch, McDonald’s is throwing its hat in the ring. The chain recently announced new variations on McDonald's classic buttermilk crispy chicken, originally launched in 2015. The rollout will include a spicy BBQ sandwich and spicy BBQ glazed tenders.
The chicken sandwich trend is no joke—chicken sandwich servings ordered in the year ending February 2019 are up 4% from the same period a year ago, at 4 billion servings. By comparison, burger orders stayed flat from orders one year ago, at 8.6 billion.
The demand has elicited a Chicken Sandwich Battle within the QSR segment, including a Twitter war between Popeyes and Chick-fil-A, among others. Popeyes appears to be the victor so far, with restaurants reporting shortages of the sandwich, and one customer even trying to sell one of the sandwiches online for $100.
This isn’t McDonald’s first brush with passionate chicken sandwich lovers. Almost 10 years after the company removed its Hot’N’Spicy chicken sandwich in 2006 due to lukewarm sales, fans are still organizing petitions to bring back some version of the spicy chicken sandwich.
2019 might just prove to be the year of the chicken sandwich within the franchise foodservice industry and beyond.
In the game of spicy poultry sandwiches, there can only be one winner. Will McDonald's sit on the throne come September? Or will they fall victim to some "fowl" play? As brands release new menu items every day, it appears the spicy chicken sandwich wars are just getting started