Popeyes, Chick-fil-A face new competitor in chicken sandwich wars

Minnesota-based barbecue chain Famous Dave's is latest to bank on fried chicken sandwich craze

America is heading toward peak fried chicken.

Famous Dave's, the Minnesota-based barbecue joint, is the latest to launch a fried chicken sandwich hitting 125 restaurants Monday, the chain announced. It's competing in the ongoing battle for fried chicken sandwich supremacy that has raged among fast-food chains since the summer.

Famous Dave's new fried chicken sandwich (Famous Dave's). 

Famous Dave's describes the sandwich as "golden-brown, deep-fried chicken" with a "kick" based on the recipe created by the restaurant founder Dave Anderson's mother. It's served on a brioche bun with spicy pickles for $5 (Popeyes and Chick-fil-A sell their sandwiches for $4).

MCDONALD'S TAKES ON RIVALS POPEYES, CHICK-FIL-A, WITH NEW BREAKFAST ITEMS

"My mom perfected her own pan-fried chicken recipe, which resulted in tender, juicy chicken with a beautiful golden, thin and crispy outside," Anderson said in a statement.

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BBQ BBQ HOLDINGS INC 13.29 +0.14 +1.06%

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Famous Dave's is the latest chain to compete in the ongoing fried chicken sandwich wars at fast-food chains across the country. The hype started when Miami-based Popeyes launched its fried chicken sandwich last August to a flurry of fanfare rivaling chicken chain Chick-fil-A. The chain eventually sold out of the coveted menu item, only increasing demand. Others like McDonald's and Wendys have also been ramping up their marketing efforts to promote their fried chicken offerings.

Popeyes fried chicken sandwich (Popeyes). 

KFC TO SERVE BEYOND MEAT'S PLANT-BASED 'FRIED CHICKEN'

Some chains, meanwhile, are pivoting into the meatless fried chicken space. Kentucky-based KFC announced last week it was teaming up with alternative protein company Beyond Meat to serve up a plant-based "fried chicken" at several of its restaurants in the South in Tennessee and North Carolina after a successful test run. The menu item will look like and mimic the taste and texture of real fried chicken feeding into consumer demand for more meatless menu options.

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BYND BEYOND MEAT, INC. 95.59 +1.22 +1.29%
QSR RESTAURANT BRANDS INTERNATIONAL, INC. 56.55 -1.08 -1.87%
MCD MCDONALD'S CORP. 243.50 +7.22 +3.06%
YUM YUM! BRANDS, INC. 125.79 -0.39 -0.31%
WEN THE WENDY'S CO. 22.01 -0.12 -0.54%

Despite the ongoing fried chicken craze, burgers are still top sellers at fast-food chains. A whopping 8.6 billion burgers were sold at restaurants in the U.S. in 2018 compared with 4 billion chicken sandwiches, the latest data available from NPD Group.

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