Aug 03, 2020
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McDonald's seems to be working to upgrade its chicken sandwich offerings a year after the viral chicken sandwich wars began.
The company's CEO, Chris Kempczinski, told Time Magazine that consumers are shifting away from beef in favor of chicken. He teased plans to introduce a new chicken offering, but wouldn't go into more detail.
"We're certainly working on ways that we can update and upgrade our chicken offering in the U.S. Suffice to say we will continue to be competing and innovating in chicken," Kempczinski told Time when asked about its chicken sandwich. "I don’t want to get too into revealing competitive secrets, but I think we are feeling good about where we’re at."
USA TODAY reached out to McDonald's for more information
In December, the fast-food giant began testing two new chicken sandwiches: The Crispy Chicken Sandwich and the Deluxe Crispy Chicken Sandwich.
While ingredients and timelines surrounding McDonald's chicken plans remain somewhat unclear, Kempczinski told investors last week that the chain will add new items to its menu before the end of the year.
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"I do know that there is innovation that is planned for later this year that's going to bring some menu items on," Kempczinski said in an earnings call with investors. The Chicago-based chain previously trimmed its menu due to staffing challenges during the pandemic.
A McDonald's restaurant.
"What the U.S. operators have talked about with our team has been, let's just make sure every item that we add earns its way back onto the menu," Kempczinski added.
McDonald's currently sells its value menu staple McChicken and a Buttermilk Crispy Chicken Sandwich that was launched in December.
The burger chain faced mixed feedback in September 2019 after it added a limited-edition spicy barbecue chicken sandwich amid the heated fast-food chicken sandwich war.
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The offering arrived after Popeyes fans kicked off the digital food fight where people raved about which restaurant offered the best bite.
Popeyes drew people in for its New Orleans-style fried chicken on a bun, which could be purchased mild or spicy. People online pitted it against Chick-Fil-A's longstanding flagship product. KFC recently joined in with a new double-breaded chicken sandwich that includes thicker pickles and a brioche bun.