Burger King, Wendy’s are the latest to enter chicken wars

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Burger King and Wendy’s are clucking about their new chicken sandwiches, joining a fast-food stampede to diversify the burger business.

Wendy’s said it is launching the Jalapeno Popper Chicken Sandwich for $5.99 and an accompanying Jalapeno Popper Chicken salad for $6.79 on Wednesday. Burger King, meanwhile, said it’s planning to introduce a “hand-breaded chicken sandwich” later this year.  

The pointed poultry push comes as some of the largest chains, including McDonald’s, Popeyes, Chick-fil-A and KFC have recently introduced new, chicken-driven menu items or announced plans to do so.

The Golden Arches says it will introduce three chicken sandwiches on Feb. 24, but it will be competing against rivals’ January additions, including a new Grilled Spicy Chicken Deluxe sandwich from Chick-fil-A and an Extra Crispy Chicken sandwich from KFC.

The chicken race kicked off in 2019 when Popeyes new sandwich sold out at many of its stores after just two weeks on the menu. 

Since then chicken has steadily gaining on burgers, which have taken a hit with the introduction of plant-based patties. 

“What if hand-breading were to chicken what flame-grilling is to burgers? That’s been our guiding filter to bring a delicious chicken sandwich to guests in a way only BK can,” Ellie Doty, chief marketing officer, Burger King North America said in a statement. “We’ll take the time to get it right and our guests will definitely taste the difference.”

Wendy’s latest item comes with jalapeno cream cheese, smoked bacon and cheddar and peper jack cheeses. 

“We are listening and bringing exciting flavors and bold ingredients forward to help fans avoid the McStake of settling for the same boring chicken sandwiches from other fast food joints,” said Wendy’s chief marketing officer Carl Loredo.

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