Jack in the Box is the latest contender in the chicken sandwich wars

Jack in the Box has introduced a new chicken sandwich to its menu, joining the ongoing chicken sandwich battle that fast casual chains have been serving up over the last year and a half.

Jack in the Box has introduced a new chicken sandwich to its menu, joining the ongoing chicken sandwich battle that fast casual chains have been serving up over the last year and a half.

Jack in the Box’s Cluck Sandwich promises “a thicker crispy fillet with the perfect balance of flavor and crunch” and like others on the market includes a brioche bun as well as a mystery sauce.  To promote the launch, the San Diego-based QSR has teamed up with singer Becky G. The influencer has created a new chicken dance challenge on social media and is challenging her 5.9 million TikTok fans and 25.4 million Instagram fans to participate.

“We’ve been looking forward to introducing this new craveable and indulgent chicken sandwich and what better way to celebrate this launch than partnering with global superstar, Becky G,” said Adrienne Ingoldt, Senior Vice President, Chief Brand and Experience Officer, in a statement shared with Brand Innovators. “Her personality reflects the limitless nature of our consumers. We knew by having her be a part of this launch, we’d truly create our own iconic moment within culture.”

For every dance using #JacksNewChickenDance shared between 12/17/20 – 2/14/21, Jack in the Box will donate $1, up to $100,000.

The Cluck Sandwich is just the latest contender in a hot fast-food industry trend that started in the summer of 2019 when Popeyes debuted a crispy fried chicken sandwich to the table and started social media battles with rivals Chick-Fil-A and Wendy’s, which generated record sales. For instance, when Chick-fil-A mistakenly sent a campaign celebrating National Chicken Sandwich Day on a Sunday when Chick-fil-A was closed, Popeyes jumped on it. The brand tweeted a screenshot of Chick-fil-A’s apology email and wrote  "seriously… y'all good?" while adding that they were open.

The momentum of the chicken sandwich trend continued to heat up in 2020. During the pandemic, consumer cravings for comfort food have remained high. Fried chicken sandwiches were the second most popular menu item delivered in 2020, per Door Dash. Popeyes irreverent approach has helped the RBI brand dominate the category in sales. In Q3 2020, Popeyes reported a 19.7% increase in sales, even as sister companies Burger King and Tim Horton’s saw decreases.

As consumers continue to have a taste for these sandwiches, the competition for the category is also increasing. McDonald’s is also planning to add a crispy chicken sandwich to its menu in 2021. Jack in the Box latest menu item suggests that QSRs expect consumer demand to continue to grow.

The question that remains is if this menu trend will continue in 2021.

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