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KFC Pecks Its Way Into Premium Chicken Sandwich Battle

Benzinga logo Benzinga 1/7/2021 Jayson Derrick
a sandwich sitting on top of a table © Provided by Benzinga

Kentucky Fried Chicken wants to become a major player in the premium chicken sandwich category. On Thursday, the Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM)-owned chain launched what it calls its "best chicken sandwich ever."

What Happened: The chicken sandwich battle throughout 2020 has been mostly dominated by Popeyes and Chick-fil-A.

Most recently, Mcdonald's Corp (NYSE: MCD) confirmed its premium chicken sandwich launch, and now KFC is responding to the growing list of fast-food chains looking for exposure to the very hot category.

Related Link: McDonald's Chicken Sandwich Takes Flight Among New Offerings By National Chains

KFC's new sandwich consists of a quarter-pound, all-white meat, double-breaded Extra Crispy chicken breast topped with crispier, thicker pickles on a brioche bun. Consumers can choose between mayonnaise or spicy sauce.

KFC said in its press release it is "playing to win" and taking its chicken sandwich research very seriously. The company tested eight kinds of pickles and more than 10 bun recipes from six bakeries.

"Many consumers hadn't considered KFC as a part of the chicken sandwich conversation, but anyone who tastes this sandwich will know," KFC CMO Andrea Zahumensky said in a statement. 

Why It's Important: KFC has been testing its premium chicken sandwich in Orlando, Florida since May 2020, and sales "nearly doubled sales expectations," Zahumensky said.

What's Next: KFC's new chicken sandwich will launch at all 4,000 restaurants nationwide by the end of February.

YUM Price Action: Yum! Brands shares were trading down 0.56% at $105.81 at the time of publication Thursday. 

Courtesy photo. 

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