McDonald’s Hops on the Chicken Sandwich Bandwagon

Yeah, you read that right. Just when you thought Popeyes stole the fried chicken sandwich show, McDonald’s is here to join the game. On Dec. 1, McDonald’s announced in a tweet that they would be releasing a chicken sandwich exclusively in Houston and Knoxville the following day.

Courtesy: Twitter (@McDonalds) 

Chick-fil-A has led the chicken sandwich industry since it began back in the ‘60s. To this day, they continue to use the same recipe that their founder S. Truett Cathy originally created. The sandwich is their fourth best seller behind their classic chicken nuggets, soft drinks and beloved waffle fries. Up until this past year, Chick-fil-A was a national go-to for your chicken sandwich cravings. Enter: Popeyes.

The chicken sandwich feud was fired in August when Popeyes tweeted about their release sharing, “Chicken. Brioche. Pickles. New. Sandwich. Popeyes. Nationwide. So. Good. Forgot. How. Speak. In. Complete. Sandwiches. I mean, sentences.” Within just two weeks, their whole supply, that they anticipated lasting at least two months, was completely gone. Customers spent the following months sharing their excitement and anticipating the return of the intriguing sandwich. As of early November, it’s back in full stock for customers to enjoy.

Many speculators wonder if it was a little too late for McDonald’s to join the game but it’s highly possible they were waiting for the heat around Popeyes to settle down. The company described their new releases in a tweet: “[the] Crispy Sandwich is simply topped with butter and crinkle-cut dill pickles while the Deluxe is topped with tomatoes, lettuce, and mayo. Both served on a tasty buttery potato roll.” This seems to almost mirror the classic Chick-fil-A sandwich but that’s none of our business.

For Popeyes, joining the chicken sandwich war was a great business move. In fact, Apex Marketing Group reports that “Popeyes reaped $65 million in equivalent media value” surrounding the release making this quarter the best they’ve had in 20 years.

Reviews of the McDonald’s chicken sandwich seem to be pretty mixed at this point. Some think that McDonald’s had no place in this chicken sandwich war to begin with, while others are pleasantly surprised.

Here are some of the most popular groups of thought we’ve gathered:

Those wondering why McDonald’s joined the chicken sandwich to begin with

Courtesy: Twitter (@_knoodz)

Those wondering why they didn’t release it sooner

Courtesy: Twitter (@PodVanDam)

Those who are simply satisfied

Courtesy: Twitter (@90minutetape)​

Those who tried it and aren’t entirely impressed

Courtesy: Twitter (@jpace87)​

The classic beloved salty McDonald’s fries that come with the sandwich are definitely helping McDonald’s in this competition. The test of the sandwich will run through the end of Jan. at those two specific locations only. But, for those of us not in Houston or Knoxville, a McDonald’s spokesperson shared with Food & Wine that “Houston and Knoxville are getting a sneak peek [and] everyone else should stay tuned for what's to come in 2020."

That leaves us wondering: Who’s going to join the feud next? KFC? Wendy’s? The future of chicken sandwiches will certainly keep us on our toes.

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