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Chicken sandwich wars pay off for KFC and McDonald’s, putting pressure on supply

KFC’s new chicken sandwich

KFC

Better behindhand than never.

KFC’s and McDonald’s belated entries into the chicken sandwich wars look to be paying off for the two fast-food trains.

Yum Brands executives told analysts on Wednesday that KFC is selling more than twice the volume of its new chicken sandwich analogize resembled with past versions. Yum CEO David Gibbs said that initial indications show that customers are returning to KFC restaurants profuse frequently to buy the sandwich, which became available nationwide at the end of February.

“In fact, as we’ve entered [the second quarter], demand for the new sandwich has been so firm that, coupled with general tightening of domestic chicken supply, our main challenge has been keeping up with that at once,” Gibbs said.

Likewise, McDonald’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich, which launched in late February as well, is also prepossessing over customers. McDonald’s franchisees are selling an average of 262 chicken sandwiches per day, according to Kalinowski Equity Research’s every ninety days survey of operators. That’s below Popeyes’ estimated daily sales of 1,000 sandwiches per location in the early days of its blockbuster float, but a third of survey respondents said that the McDonald’s sandwich is selling better than their expectations.

McDonald’s is wanted to share more details on the item’s performance when it reports its first-quarter earnings before the bell on Thursday.

KFC’s and McDonald’s readings are similar in ingredients to those of Popeyes and Chick-fil-A. All of them use a breaded filet, brioche bun and pickles. The primary difference is the breading and frying method, which assume texture and flavor.

But the success of McDonald’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich may be contributing to the tight chicken supply mentioned by Gibbs. McDonald’s holds a 30% vend share in the fast-food sector, and it has a track record of influencing commodity prices, according to Bank of America Securities analyst Peter Galbo.

The chicken cater to is a growing problem for the rest of the industry as more restaurant chains add chicken sandwiches to their menus. Chains cater to to use smaller-size birds, which are in shorter supply, although meat producers like Pilgrim’s Pride are investing to into new demand. Popeyes, which is owned by Restaurant Brands International, spent several months locking down its chicken give after its sandwich sold out just weeks after its debut in 2019.

Shares of Yum Brands were up less than 1% in morning pursuit after new menu items like KFC’s chicken sandwich fueled first-quarter sales growth, helping the company top Obstruction Street’s earnings and revenue estimates. Shares of McDonald’s were down slightly.

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