Following the explosive popularity of the Popeyes chicken sandwich in Q3 2019 and subsequent iterations from quick-service competitors including McDonald’s, Jack in the Box, and KFC, the chicken wars have been reignited, riding the wave of pandemic-era comfort food cravings.
While fried chicken sandwiches were the most-added menu item in 2020, already during the first week of 2021, there have been announcements of fried chicken sandwiches from five major chains, including the much-buzzed-about new lineup of McDonald’s chicken sandwiches, revealed on Monday. Other chains have released poultry creations that diverge from the classic ingredients of chicken, pickles, and lettuce/tomatoes, like the Korean-inspired fried chicken from Shake Shack announced Tuesday, and the mac and cheese and hot sauce-slathered sandwich from Golden Chick, which came out Monday.
Most of these chicken sandwiches are also LTOs (or former LTOs that have been brought back by popular demand with small changes), with the exception of McDonald’s, which will be a permanent fixture to the menu as the brand undergoes its previously announced new growth strategy.
Here are the five chicken sandwiches that have been announced so far in 2021.
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