Burger King’s found success with a size-up strategy.
Fans of fast-food fried-chicken sandwiches have a lot of options to choose from these days.
Yum Brands (YUM) – Get Yum! Brands Inc. Report darling Popeyes comes to mind first on that front, thanks to its explosive success in 2019, with drive-thru lines stretching around the block and, eventually, its strong position in what the media have deemed “the chicken sandwich wars.”
Popeyes took in an additional $400,000 per restaurant in the height of this craze, which drew other competitors to try their hand at fried chicken and try to grab a slice of that sweet financial pie.
While every brand from Starbucks (SBUX) – Get Starbucks Corporation Report to Wendy’s (WEN) – Get Wendy’s Company (The) Report made an effort, none was able to tap into the viral success Popeyes enjoyed. But many kept trying, mystified by the magic of what seemed to be nothing more than, well, a fried-chicken filet with a nice sauce between two pieces of bread.
Burger King (QSR) – Get Restaurant Brands International Inc. Report is hardly new to the chicken-sandwich game; for decades it had one as a staple item on its menu under different names. But now it’s decided to try its hand at a new one with a particularly catchy gimmick.
The Big Chicken Filet promises to be “bigger than your phone.”
What’s New At Burger King?
Burger King’s newest take on chicken is called the Big Chicken Filet and will be sold at its Japan locations starting Aug. 26.
Touted as “bigger than your phone,” which is a slogan also being used for a promotion for the new sandwich, this looks to be an item you can order either with a mayo-based sauce and pickles, or in a more typical fashion dressed with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, mustard, and ketchup.
Burger King first teased the sandwich via its Twitter account on Aug. 23, promoting it as a “large authentic chicken sandwich made with a single piece of chicken breast that protrudes from the Whopper buns!”
Burger King has not disclosed the price of the sandwich or said whether it will be a limited item offer.
The Opposite of a Fowl Play
While Burger King’s staple sub-style chicken sandwich remains on its menu, the Big Chicken Filet looks like an effort to draw in the crowd that’s going nuts for the Big Mouth. That’s an overstuffed burger made for the Japanese market that has been drawing attention since 2021.
Since it came out, the Big Mouth has been so popular that the fast-food chain has already drummed up four iterations in the series. These include a BBQ and onion ring-topped version, a hash and chile that added fried hash browns, and two versions with three beef patties each.
Asian countries are also known for their smaller-size servings at fast-food restaurants. But presenting oversized sandwiches is a novelty that also plays on the twist of serving “American-style” portions — and some international markets are eating it up.
Add this move to Burger King’s recent release of a plant-based chicken sandwich in the U.S. market, and it shows just how savvy and diverse the company’s big picture strategy really is.