In a bid to compete more directly with Popeyes and Chick-fil-A’s famed chicken options, McDonald’s USA President Joe Erlinger said it will launch a larger, crispy chicken sandwich in the U.S. early next year, which will come with crinkle-cut pickles and a buttered bun. The fast food chain announced the bird-based addition to its beefy roster today during an investor presentation on its growth strategy, where McDonald’s leadership outlined plans to improve “chicken credibility” and “jump-start our chicken journey.”
The global chicken market is two times as large as that of beef, Erlinger said, and McDonald’s is facing increased competition from Popeyes and Chick-fil-A, which is now the third largest fast food chain. “Developing a great reputation in chicken is one of our highest aspirations,” Erlinger said.
This rollout will be a cornerstone in its new growth strategy, Accelerating the Arches, which will hone in on core McDonald’s menu items like chicken, beef and coffee to streamline offerings. The company said that these practices helped improve efficiency, profitability and customer satisfaction during the pandemic. The still-unnamed crispy chicken sandwich will be one of other line extensions and marketing initiatives set forth to advance this strategy. McDonald’s is also working on the McPlant, a plant-based burger option, which will be tested in a few markets next year as well.
Other chicken-centric news, KFC has recently teamed up with Pizza Hut for a “Popcorn Chicken Pizza.”