QSRs’ Chicken Sandwich Wars Reignited

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Experts are predicting chicken sandwiches will dominate menus in 2023. According to a survey conducted by the National Restaurant Association, which polled over 500 industry experts, chicken sandwiches – both classic and new variations – will be one of the biggest trends in the new year.

The National Restaurant Association report listed chicken sandwiches as the No. 2 trend of the year overall, and it took the top spot overall in the lunch category.

Prices of chicken breasts, thighs and wings are dropping, according to The Wall Street Journal, and restaurants are taking advantage, finding ways to put their own spin on a beloved classic.

Thus, the chicken sandwich wars rage on.

According to Business Insider, Popeye’s recently released its new Blackened Chicken Sandwich following its 2019 launch of the Popeyes Spicy Chicken Sandwich. Not to be outdone, Burger King and Wendy’s also have new chicken sandwich additions to their respective menus.

Meanwhile, Starbird is another company that’s capitalizing on the popularity of poultry by delivering feel good, crispy chicken and a tech-driven experience. These are just a few examples of new chicken sandwich offerings available to consumers.

Chef Serge Krikorian with Vibrant Occasions Catering and founder of Our Mobile Kitchen spoke with The Food Institute about some of the ways he’s differentiating chicken offerings.

“A growing trend for 2023 is fusion cuisine: as people emerge from Covid lockdowns, they’re searching for new flavors and dining experiences,” Krikorian noted. “New and interesting flavor combinations are the buzzword of the day. For instance, a twist on a traditional chicken taco is our Pickle Brined Chicken Taco with chicken brined overnight in dill pickle juice then battered and fried; we top it with spicy ranch. Not your traditional Tex-Mex take on a taco.”

Another unique chicken offering, Krikorian said, is his business’s Chicken Shawarma Sandwich. The traditional Middle Eastern dish features marinated, grilled chicken, served on a toasted hoagie roll with tahini tzatziki sauce, along with feta cheese, tomatoes and onions.

“We also have a Tandoori Chicken Sandwich featuring a favorite Indian flavor with marinated chicken topped with a Yogurt Coriander Cucumber Sauce,” Krikorian said. “With a little imagination, you can turn your favorite chicken dish into a sandwich with a bit of marination and thoughtful toppings.”

The Food Institute Podcast

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