Across social media, especially Twitter, Popeyes’ new fried chicken sandwich has been all the buzz this week. Some have even gone so far to say it is the best chicken sandwich they have ever had. If you like fast food chicken sandwiches and odds are you do, it is also likely you have been consumed by the debate between Popeyes’ new, featured product and the famous Chick-Fil-A chicken sandwich, which has taken on a life of its own.
If you’re brand loyal, it’s hard to truly be objective in the battle. Some feel Popeyes has always been better than Chick-Fil-A. Others feel Popeyes is late to the chicken sandwich game and it’s blasphemy to suggest it could ever defeat Chick-Fil-A in a head-to-head contest. Popeyes’ fried chicken is a more southern, greasy style chicken while Chick-Fil-A’s sandwich is probably the “healthier” option.
This debate will probably never be settled, but we don’t think Popeyes or Chick-Fil-A care very much. Both have gotten tremendous press the last few days. It’s been estimated that the social media exposure that Popeyes has gotten thus far is equivalent to nearly $24 million in paid advertising. And lines have been out the door this week at Popeyes across the nation. Some restaurants have even sold out of chicken sandwiches.
Naturally, food writers of all stripes had to jump in. The Washington Post’s Maura Judkis, taste tested Popeyes next to Chic-Fil-A and Shack Shack’s Chick’n Shack. Her expert analysis said, “[Popeys] is the crunchiest, crispiest fast-food chicken sandwich out there. It’s also hefty, with a greater surface area than either of its competitors. The bun is more buttery…the chicken is juicy and the pickles are cut thicker.” And her coup de grace was that “the Cajun fries are a better textural accompaniment than waffle fries, which, despite their fun shape, tend to go flaccid.”