The Story Behind Popeyes Record-Breaking Chicken Sandwich

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Popeyes Chicken Sandwich
Tyrgyzistan/Flickr

As you’ve likely heard – the country went absolutely crazy for Popeyes Chicken new sandwich. It caused a “chicken run,” with the company burning through stock in just two weeks. Discover the story behind the latest viral craze…

Introducing Popeyes Chicken Sandwich

Fast Food Wars
Popeyes/Instagram

This year, it seemed like a new viral craze popped up every week: from trendy Starbucks drinks to a challenge to clean up local beaches, the all made headlines. This time around, the viral sensation came from an unlikely source: Popeyes Chicken. More specifically, Popeyes new chicken sandwich, which took the internet by storm, and many fast-food fans by surprise.

On August 12th, Popeyes released a brand new chicken sandwich. They did little publicity beforehand, making it seem like the sandwich appeared out of nowhere. Still, people went absolutely crazy for it. Which is truly saying something, given how much competition Popeyes has. McDonald’s, Chic-Fil-A, and Wendy’s all claim to have the best chicken sandwich in the fast-food game. Chick-Fil-A even called Popeyes Chicken out on Twitter, saying they felt confident their sandwich could stand up to any of sandwich. However, soon the numbers came out and it was clear: Popeyes won, by far.

Out Of Stock After Only Two Weeks

Fast Food Wars
Shannon Stapleton

Within a day, the lines for the new chicken sandwich had already started to form, getting long before 10 a.m.! Popeyes confirmed that the new product smashed any previous records the company had. And this week, Popeyes officially declared: they’re out of sandwiches. The company believed its supply would last for seven weeks. Instead, the buns and chicken only lasted two.

Some said the reason was clear: this was Popeyes first-ever chicken sandwich. The cult chicken brand has plenty of fans, including many celebrities. In fact, musician Diplo claimed Popeyes sent him a private jet filled with new sandwiches. Reportedly, Popeyes saved itself $23 million worth of advertising, thanks to posts like this. The trending tweets, hashtags, articles, news coverage, and online posts did all the work for Popeyes.

Now, some are asking, how could a fast-food chain run out of chicken and buns? Can’t Popeyes just buy more and start making more sandwiches? Well, it would take time for those supplies to get to the stores in question, especially if Popeyes requires any special preparation. However, some speculate that Popeyes always intended a short trial, to see how many sandwiches would sell, or if there’s a demand. Clearly, there is. Others claim that the company never planned on selling more than two weeks of sandwiches. They argue its all a food marketing ploy – just to get fans hyped about the next time it returns.

Who Has The Best Chicken Sandwich?

Popeyes Chicken Sandwich
Popeyes/Instagram

Now, the sandwich has become quite infamous. A man even sued Popeyes for mental distress for taking away the sandwich! Is it really that good? Well, the sandwich has won in all recent polls, defeating the previous chart-topper Chick-Fil-A (whose biggest competitor now is Popeyes). People say it’s the sauce, others say it’s the brioche bun; most people say it’s the holy trinity of chicken, pickles, and mayonnaise.

The general talk around this new product is astounding; you can’t really put your finger on how and why it started. It seems like every new rendition to a famous, traditional fast food menu causes an internet hurricane, like when Burger King began serving the vegan Beyond Meat burger, or that now KFC is serving vegan chicken popcorn. But chicken always seems to win everyone over and get people together. We’ll see how this develops, and if Popeyes will restock or come out with new chicken (maybe even vegan) items in the future.