Popeyes launched a new chicken sandwich and in no time all hell broke loose on social media. On one side, consumers of the new sandwich who say it is out of this world, on the other, Chick-Fil-A fans who can't believe anything tops that stalwart fast food chain's signature product.
Begun, the chicken wars have.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that it's hard to screw up the combination of buns and good fried chicken. One can only enhance it further with various sauces, pickles, tomatoes, and maybe some attitude.
Still, these companies aren't above trying to own the game, and Chick-Fil-A wasted no time in firing what seemed a blatant shot across Popeyes' bow.
It was a move that struck many as, well, kind of insecure. It also prompted other purveyors of fried chicken-based goods to get in on the game.
Wendy's, regardless of the quality of its product, has long ruled the social media game thanks to an unusually clever and funny Twitter account. It could not resist firing its own shots.
Popeyes came back, but it's hard to own Wendy's on social, they are nothing if not quick.
Whether any of this amounted to additional sales for the restaurants involved isn't clear yet, but it definitely amounted to an entertaining diversion for people who love a lot of mouthing off about the food that will lead to them taking cholesterol meds later in life.
But seriously, who's really on top here? Has anyone done a taste test?
Everyone has, who wants to pass up a chance to legitimize ordering yummy and nutritionally useless fast food? Here's one takeaway from The Takeout:
In my mind, the tradeoff is the savoriness of Chick-fil-A’s fried chicken vs. the textural satisfaction of Popeyes fried chicken. But with the added richness of that mayo spread, Popeyes has a chicken sandwich that I find every bit as tasty of Chick-fil-A, minus the psychic shame—and in the case of the spicy version, even tastier.
That "psychic shame" is a reference to what many find Chick-Fil-A's troublesome politics--it's seen as decidedly anti-LGBTQ and has not necessarily shied away from that.
But outside bloggers, those elevating one sandwich over the others haven't really much mentioned hot-button issues. For them, the flavor is what matters.
And if that leads to tastier selections, we all win, in the end.