McDonald’s joins chicken sandwich frenzy with new offerings

The long-awaited launch of the new McDonald’s chicken sandwich line is here.

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The Deluxe Chicken Sandwich features a white meat chicken filet with pickles, lettuce, tomato and mayo on a buttered potato roll. (McDonald’s)
The Deluxe Chicken Sandwich features a white meat chicken filet with pickles, lettuce, tomato and mayo on a buttered potato roll. (McDonald’s)

The long-awaited launch of the new McDonald’s chicken sandwich line is here.

The brand added the Crispy Chicken Sandwich, the Spicy Chicken Sandwich and the Deluxe Chicken Sandwich to menus nationwide on February 24.

“We’re introducing ingredients you won’t find anywhere else on McDonald’s menu. Our three sandwich builds – Crispy, Spicy and Deluxe – offer something for everyone, and each option has its own magic that’s unlocked when all the flavors come together in a single bite,” said McDonald’s USA.

“We also believe there is huge opportunity for McDonald’s across the chicken category, which globally is growing more quickly than beef.”

The Crispy Chicken Sandwich is a white meat chicken filet topped with pickles on a buttered potato roll, while the Spicy Chicken Sandwich is topped with Spicy Pepper Sauce and the Deluxe Chicken Sandwich features additional toppings of lettuce, tomato and mayo.

Although the sandwiches launched February 24, some customers were able to gain early access by purchasing a limited edition “capsule” that contained a coupon for the sandwich that could be redeemed February 23, an original audio track from music producer Tay Keith and a limit-editing hoodie.

With the new offerings, McDonald’s joins a growing list of quick service restaurant chains launching new chicken sandwiches in 2021.

Pressure to innovate

McDonald’s has been under intense pressure to release a competitive premium chicken sandwich offering.

In July 2019, the board of the National Owners Association (NOA), a group of McDonald’s franchisee owners, called chicken sandwiches a top priority to help bring in more customers and better compete in the chicken sandwich wars, which boosted sales for the entire quick service restaurant chicken market.

In August 2020, Chris Kempczinski, McDonald's CEO, promised customers that innovation in chicken would be coming by the end of the year. The chain launched Spicy Chicken McNuggets and Mighty Hot Sauce one month later, the first time McDonald’s introduced a new Chicken McNuggets flavor.

“An important piece of our strategy is taking a holistic approach across the entire chicken platform – that includes leveraging the global strength of longtime fan-favorites, like Chicken McNuggets and the McChicken sandwich, while also innovating with new line extensions and flavors, like our Spicy Chicken McNuggets and Mighty Hot Sauce,” said McDonald’s USA.

“Introducing the new Crispy Chicken Sandwich in the U.S. is another step on our journey to deliver great-tasting chicken for our customers, and we’re always innovating to give them more of what they love about chicken at McDonald’s.”

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