Today, McDonald's officially introduced its entry in the Great Chicken Sandwich War of 2019: the Spicy BBQ Chicken Sandwich. Of course, suspense has been building about this new product introduction ever since it was announced less than a week ago. Now we'll all have a chance to see for ourselves how the different sandwiches stack up.
And, of course, McDonald's executives are very excited to see what the public thinks too. Says Darci Forrest, McDonald's Senior Director of Brand and Menu Innovation Strategy:
It's been so great to see the excitement for the arrival of McDonald's Spicy BBQ Glazed Tenders and Spicy BBQ Chicken Sandwich. We can't wait for our customers to get a taste of these perfectly sauced, craveable menu items for themselves today.
The three heavy hitters in this war have been Chick-fil-A, which has sold its iconic chicken sandwich since 1964, Popeyes, which introduced a remarkably popular (and quickly sold out) spicy chicken sandwich of its own last month, and Wendy's, which has been selling a variety of chicken sandwiches for some time--both spicy and not.
All three of these companies got tangled in a Twitter fast-food fight last month, with each claiming to have the very best chicken sandwich. Now they'll have to contend with one more competitor--a very big competitor.
In addition to this new chicken sandwich specifically designed to compete with Chick-fil-A, Popeyes, and Wendy's, today McDonald's also introduced Spicy BBQ Glazed Tenders for people who just want their spicy chicken straight--no bun, pickles, or onions.
In these days when tech companies get most of the attention for being agile and super responsive to changes in the marketplace, I'm pleasantly surprised to see McDonald's react so quickly to all the recent attention on chicken sandwiches. This kind of market agility is a good example for any business to follow.
This isn't the first time that McDonald's has sold a spicy chicken sandwich--way back in 2013, the company stopped selling its Hot 'N Spicy McChicken sandwich. However, as the Great Chicken Sandwich War of 2019 broke out, McDonald's saw an opportunity and quickly jumped in to take advantage of it.
McDonald's New Spicy BBQ Chicken Sandwich Is Here, So I'm Ready To Keep Arguing About Sandwiches https://t.co/2fqEZm4bWM-- Delish.com (@DelishDotCom) September 5, 2019
Says Cliff Johnson II, who owns and operates a McDonald's in the Dallas area, "Like everybody else, we're definitely riding the chicken wave." And he adds, aiming a good-natured poke at competitor Popeyes, which famously sold out of its new spicy chicken sandwich soon after it was introduced, "You don't have to worry about us running out."
So, who's going to win the war?
McDonald's? Popeyes? Chick-fil-A? Wendy's? Or one of the many other fast-food restaurants (Burger King, Arby's, KFC, Jack in the Box, and Shake Shack--I'm talking about you) that serve their own chicken sandwiches?
I suspect we'll soon find out.