KFC Is Finally Launching Its All-New, Improved Chicken Sandwich Nationwide

The fast food chicken sandwich wars... keep raging on.

Courtesy of KFC
Courtesy of KFC

If you thought we were going to eat or blab on about fried chicken sandwiches any less now that we've crossed over into 2021, you would be very wrong. Especially now that KFC is joining the race with its own revamped version of the fast food staple. Following a successful trial run last spring, KFC is taking its new Popeyes competitor nationwide. 

The double-breaded, extra crispy breast filet is piled onto a buttery brioche bun with thick, crispy pickles and your choice of either the Colonel's mayo or spicy sauce. In case you had any doubt, the nationwide rollout is about to shake up that years-long fast food chicken sandwich wars in a big way. According to Chief Marketing Officer Andrea Zahumensky, the company already saw double the expected sales amidst its test run in Orlando in the spring of 2020.

"We wanted a chicken sandwich that really lives up to our legacy as the fried chicken experts, so we upgraded ours in every way to make it our best sandwich ever," a spokesperson for the chain told Thrillist. 

The sandwich now available in Chicago, Kansas City, Louisville, Portland, St. Louis, Sacramento, San Francisco, Seattle, and Tulsa as of January 7, and is expected to make its way to menu boards in additional cities across the nation in the coming weeks before reaching nationwide availability sometime in February, according to the spokesperson.

"We’ve been working on this sandwich since mid-2019. We have gone through several iterations and we're not going to settle on something we didn’t believe would be our best ever," the spokesperson said in the statement. "While it has taken us time to really perfect every single element, we are putting something out there that is going to be competitive in the chicken sandwich market and is guaranteed to make the Colonel proud."

KFC's innovation team didn't take the task lightly either, instead pouring over each ingredient to find the ultimate combo—and one that perfectly compliments the chain's already famed fried chicken and spices. The pickles were a key component in the equation, so much so that the kitchen tested eight variations of thickness. 

The real question, though: Will KFC manage to dethrone the current reigning champ, Popeyes?

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Megan Schaltegger is a staff writer at Thrillist.