How to make a big deal out of a chicken sandwich
With an endless number of new product and concept introductions by retailers and brands each year, retailing execs might want to take a close look at Popeyes and its new fried chicken sandwich to find a recipe for success.
It’s just a chicken sandwich, after all. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but many fast food chains have sold chicken sandwiches for years if not decades. It flies in the face of the obesity epidemic and any pretense of eating healthy. The ingredients don’t sound special: fried chicken breast, (brioche) bun, pickles and sauce. And yet Nick Kindelsperger of the Chicago Tribune ranked 26 fast food fried chicken sandwiches (yes, there are that many) and ranked the Popeyes version #2, behind only Shake Shack’s.
Popeyes tweeted about the new sandwich on August 12 and started a craze. The tweet itself was pretty simple, “Chicken. Brioche. Pickles. New. Sandwich. Popeyes. Nationwide. So. Good. Forgot. How. Speak. In. Complete. Sandwiches. I mean, sentences.” The Tweet included a picture of a gigantic chicken sandwich and currently has 31,000 likes, 5,200 retweets, and over 6,700 comments. It inspired Twitter reactions from Chick-fil-A, Wendy’s, Shake Shack and many adoring consumers.
Fans have stood in long lines at Popeyes around the nation, there were many reports of the sandwich being sold out and at least one Popeyes manager reportedly passed out from exhaustion.
Chicken. Brioche. Pickles. New. Sandwich. Popeyes. Nationwide. So. Good. Forgot. How. Speak. In. Complete. Sandwiches. I mean, sentences. pic.twitter.com/14kXBv4jJw
— Popeyes Chicken (@PopeyesChicken) August 12, 2019
The executive editor of Restaurant Business, Jonathan Maze, told The New York Times that fast-food brands need to “play the social media game,” although he doubted Popeyes would make much of a dent in Chick-fil-A’s sales, which were up nearly 17 percent last year.
My neighborhood Popeyes has forsaken me 😩 pic.twitter.com/G8r7oYserb
— Diane Jeanty (@dianejeanty) August 21, 2019
- We ranked 26 fast-food fried-chicken sandwiches (including Popeyes) – Chicago Tribune
- I wanted to hate Popeyes’ chicken sandwich, but damn it, it’s good – New York Post
- Proof that Popeyes is winning the chicken sandwich wars – Yahoo Finance
- Yes, the Popeyes chicken sandwich is great. Here’s how it stacks up against the competition. – The Washington Post
- A Popeyes Chicken Sandwich and a Tactic to Set Off a Twitter Roar – The New York Times
- Popeyes vs. Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich: Dietitians Weigh In On Calories – Prevention
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: To what do you attribute the roaring success of Popeyes’ new fried chicken sandwich? How can retailers and brands emulate the social media and overall success that Popeyes’ had with the launch of their new sandwich?