In the summer of 2019, another cultural phenomenon took place. The launch of Popeyes’ chicken sandwich was an inflection point for the fast-food company and kicked off what industry insiders have referred to as the chicken sandwich wars.
For much of Popeyes’ history its Louisiana-style menu featured items like fried chicken, chicken tenders and fried shrimp. But after nearly 50 years, this was its first-ever chicken sandwich sold nationwide.
Hype around the chicken sandwich and a lighthearted Twitter spat with Chick-fil-A turned the menu item into an overnight sensation. In November 2019, one Popeyes location alone sold more than 3,500 chicken sandwiches in a day.
Can a simple chicken sandwich revitalize a company that once filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and is trailing its two major rivals, Chick-fil-A and KFC?