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Colonel Sanders Maneuvers to Reclaim Lost Ground in Chicken Sandwich Wars With KFC ’Premium’ Offering

Plus, rats are getting desperate, and other news to start the day

KFC chicken sandwich on a red background.
KFC announced a new “premium” chicken sandwich.
Sandwich photo: courtesy of KFC. Photo-collage: Eater.

Nature is healing, KFC is testing a new chicken sandwich

In what may be one of the biggest signs that COVID-19-related lockdowns are winding down in favor of a return to some semblance of “normalcy,” fast-food chains are apparently ready to roll out new products again. KFC is testing a premium chicken sandwich — advertised as “bigger and better” than its current offering — in select Orlando stores, the chain announced today. The sandwich consists of a bigger fried chicken filet, a brioche bun, thicker pickles, and mayonnaise (classic or spicy).

“We wanted a chicken sandwich that really lives up to our legacy as the fried chicken experts and, let’s face it, ours wasn’t the one to beat,” KFC U.S.’s chief marketing officer Andrea Zahumensky said in a press release, alluding to the fact that KFC wasn’t even a contender in last year’s “chicken sandwich war” between Popeyes and Chick-fil-A.

Ah, summer 2019, a time when consumers willingly stood shoulder-to-shoulder in long lines and packed into full fast-food restaurants to attain a chicken sandwich. Different times.

And in other news…

  • Self-serve buffets and salad bars face an uncertain future during and after the coronavirus pandemic. [CNN]
  • The Department of Justice and the Department of Agriculture are investigating the recent fluctuations in beef prices to determine whether or not price fixing or manipulation is taking place. [Politico]
  • Now is plant-based meat’s time to shine. [NYT]
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning about “aggressive” rat behavior, as a result of increasingly desperate rodents having gone without their normal food sources these last two months. [The Guardian]
  • Couples who are now eating all three meals together at home may find their existing issues with their partners’ eating habits — especially the lip smacks, crunching, and other mouth sounds that some people find unbearable — exacerbated in constant close quarters. [NYT]
  • Dunkin’ has planned a redesign to develop “NextGen” stores, designed for speed and contactless in a COVID-19 world. [QSR Magazine]
  • An official Friends cookbook is coming out in September, featuring recipes like Monica’s Friendsgiving Feast and Phoebe’s Grandmother’s Cookies. [Delish]

All AM Intel Coverage [E]