Popeyes' New Blackened Chicken Sandwich Promises Classic Flavor

The chicken sandwich wars are heating up again. Popeyes, the Louisiana-inspired restaurant known for serving delightfully crispy fried chicken and its famous biscuits, is entering yet another player into the fast food battle that the restaurant arguably started.

According to Popeyes' online menu, the chain is now offering a blackened chicken sandwich in addition to a spicy variety of the same sandwich. One major difference between the new sandwich and the restaurant's viral chicken sandwich staple is that the blackened version comes completely free of breading (via Popeyes' Facebook). The other thing setting the new sandwich apart is its flavor. According to Thrillist, the new sandwich will be spiced with cajun and creole seasonings, like Popeyes' blackened tenders, before being topped with mayonnaise and pickles on a brioche bun. The spicy version of the sandwich differentiates itself with the addition of spicy mayonnaise.

Popeyes seems to be confident their new menu offering has the potential to reignite the feud between fast food chains innovating to serve up the best sandwich. In a tweet from the company's account, Popeyes directly calls out the " ... copycats that tried to copy our Chicken Sandwich back in 2019," encouraging them to also try to copy the new blackened chicken sandwich.

The battle for the best chicken sandwich rages on

In August 2019, Popeyes released its original chicken sandwich nationwide (via Forbes). Within the first few weeks, Forbes reported unprecedented demand forced the chain to discontinue sales of the sandwich for months. The article continues that the now iconic mainstay was originally developed to take on Chick-fil-A's sandwich head-to-head.

Since the wildly popular Popeyes sandwich was unveiled, several other restaurants, including KFC, Zaxby's, Wendy's, and Shake Shack, have either introduced a chicken sandwich to their menu or upgraded a previous option to stay competitive (via Restaurant Business). Starbucks even got in on the action with a sweet chicken sandwich in June 2022.

According to QSR, Popeyes is now the 15th biggest restaurant chain in America, with the potential for international chicken sandwich sales serving as fuel for widespread international growth. And if Popeyes' new blackened chicken sandwich sees success remotely near that of its original, the chicken sandwich wars could come back to the forefront of these restaurants' menus–perhaps this time with a cajun-inspired, non-breaded twist.