Chick-fil-A tweeted a subtle jab at Popeyes on last Monday, suggesting its fried chicken sandwich recipe is “the original,” and the move sparked a “great chicken sandwich” debate across Black Twitter.
Popeyes launched its spicy fried chicken sandwich on Aug. 12, served with pickles and a buttered brioche bun, and some might say it looks a lot like a Chick-fil-A sandwich.
There wasn’t much chatter about the new Popeyes sandwich on social media until Chick-fil-A, the biggest chicken chain in the U.S. by sales, alluded to it last Monday in a tweet that said “Bun + Chicken + Pickles = all the [heart] for the original” about its own signature chicken sandwich.
Popeyes replied, asking the Atlanta-based company “… y’all good?”
Chick-fil-A did not respond, but other fast food eateries joined in to boast about their own signature chicken sandwiches, including Wendy’s and Shake Shack.
SandraRose.com writes: “Popeyes Chicken racked up $20 million in sales since introducing its new spicy fried chicken sandwich this month. Black Twitter users who raved about the new chicken sandwich triggered stampedes at many Popeyes locations.”
Apex Marketing Group released a report estimating Popeyes received $23.25 million in equivalent ad value, across digital, print, social, TV, and radio in just 11 days. Much of the hype can be credited to Black Twitter users chiming in on the great chicken sandwich debate, and crowning Popeyes the winner.
“Popeyes is not top five when it comes to naming restaurants in the U.S.,” said Eric Smallwood, the president of Apex Marketing Group. “But this sandwich is putting them on the map in areas that don’t have them.”
Popeyes has more than 3,000 locations across 40 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico.
Their spicy chicken sandwich has sold out at many locations, which has triggered brawls at many restaurants, and one angry customer climbed through a drive-in window after a location ran out of the sandwiches.