ALEXANDRIA, Va.—If you thought the chicken sandwich wars were over, think again. Burger King is launching three chicken sandwiches as part of its new “International Original Chicken Sandwich” line up. They include an American Original Chicken Sandwich, a Mexican Original Chicken Sandwich and an Italian Original Chicken Sandwich.
The sandwiches begin similarly with a breaded chicken patty and a long sesame-seed bun. The American will include lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and mayonnaise, while the Mexican will have a spicy queso sauce and jalapeños. The Italian will include mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce.
Last September, Burger King announced it would spend $400 million over the next two years to improve sales and profits. The initiative includes revamping its menu, and the fast-food giant plans to build a “destination-worthy chicken sandwich portfolio.”
In late November, Popeyes said it was “reigniting the Chicken Wars” by introducing a breading-free blackened chicken sandwich. The fast-food chain said it took four years to perfect its version of the classic blackening cooking technique, which originated in Louisiana.
“As many will recall, the Popeyes Chicken Sandwich broke the internet in 2019, warranting copycat recipes from competitors, chefs and at home cooks alike. Now that Popeyes is launching a blackened chicken sandwich, the brand is sure others will try to copy it again,” wrote Popeyes in a statement.
Popeyes even launched a campaign along with the sandwich release that shared the ingredients of the sandwich and invited competitors and customers to make a version of their own and “copy this.”
“Our chicken sandwich changed the QSR industry back in 2019, and since then, we've continued to innovate within the category to give our guests what they want—even more chicken sandwich options," said Sami Siddiqui, president of Popeyes North America.
According to CNBC, consumers are frequenting restaurants less as inflation impacts their budgets, so restaurants have been experimenting with promotions and new menu items to get people back through their doors.
See how convenience stores are competing in the chicken sandwich wars in the NACS Magazine article “Chicken Sandwich Wars.”