Chick-fil-A will begin testing spicy chicken nuggets in four markets next month, a spokeswoman for the chain said Friday.
The test, which begins Oct. 5, will take place at Chick-fil-A stores in Denver, Baltimore, Cincinnati and Augusta, Ga.
The nuggets will mark the second spicy chicken item the Atlanta-based chain has introduced in recent months, following the launch of a spicy chicken sandwich in early July.
Chick-fil-A is one of several fast-food chicken chains that have introduced spicier menu items this year. In August, Church’s Chicken introduced Spicier Spicy Chicken, a marinated, on-the-bone product the Atlanta-based chain tested for six months before launching it systemwide. And in May, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, also based in Atlanta, debuted Wicked Chicken, which consists of thinly-sliced, marinated, breaded and deep-fried spicy chicken strips.
Elsewhere in the quick-service segment, Wendy's is currently promoting spicy chicken nuggets.
Nancy Kruse, president of foodservice consultancy The Kruse Co., said spicy chicken nuggets are a smart menu addition for fast-food brands because they appeal to both younger and ethnic customer bases.
“Spicy nuggets have strong appeal to the young male demographic, which is highly coveted by fast-food chains,” Kruse said. “I think a secondary driver is the continuing growth of the Hispanic population, another prized demographic."
She also said spicy chicken nuggets fit into the afternoon snack daypart, a growing area of sales for many quick-service chains.
"[Nuggets] offer fast feeders a way to address the snack dayparts and consumers who don’t want or can’t afford a complete meal,” she said.
Contact Elissa Elan at [email protected].