The IDK Meal from Restaurant Brands International’s Popeyes is one more victim of inflation.
When Restaurant Brands International (QSR) – Get Restaurant Brands International Inc. Report-owned Burger King turned the 2 For $5 Mix-‘N-Match deal into the 2 For $6 Mix-‘N-Match deal, there was a small outcry (and some mockery) on social media.
What Do You Get When You Don’t Know What To Get?
Another Restaurant Brands brand, fried chicken chain Popeyes recently brought back a promotion it calls the IDK Meal: a fried chicken sandwich that one picks in classic or spicy and a lemonade that one picks chilled or frozen and in plain or strawberry flavor.
The “I Don’t Know” concept is meant to humor the permanently indecisive and will set you back $6. Popeyes’ VP of Culinary Innovation Amy Alacron dreamt it up as a way to satisfy even those who never know what they want to eat by offering a wide range of flavors — spicy from the heat, umami from the chicken and sweet from the lemonade.
Something, in other words, that you want when you don’t know what you want.
The IDK Meal made a brief appearance on Popeyes’ online and app menus in the summer of 2021 but disappeared again as the weather cooled. As of July 19, it will be again available at Popeyes locations across the country.
The Cheapest Fast Food Is Still Getting More Expensive
Those who had a chance to come across the IDK Meal last summer will remember that it then sold for $3.99. The $6 seen now is more than 30% more expensive when compared to what it cost last summer.
With the price of both groceries and electricity going up amid widespread inflation, many fast food companies have been forced to raise prices for their products.
The average grocery bill in the U.S. rose by 10.4% between June 2021 and 2022 but some products common in fast food saw even more dramatic spikes — eggs prices rose by 15% since 2020 while a pound of bacon is a whopping 24% more expensive.
“In recent years, most fast-food restaurants had, maybe, raised prices in the low single digits each year,” industry analyst Matthew Goodman told The New York Times. “What we’ve seen over the last six-plus months are restaurants being aggressive in pushing through prices.”
While spikes at higher-end restaurants have so far been less dramatic, food that has for years been seen as the cheapest option is seeing some of the steepest increases — while some might snidely say that it will push us to eat healthier, fast-food meals have long been a way for lower-income families to get filling meals.
“If a fast-food restaurant introduces a lot of different menu items, that can mean more ingredients so that prices will increase more than if they had a simplified menu,” DealNews consumer analyst Julie Ramhold told GOBankingRates. “However, the opposite can also be true — if a restaurant only offers chicken prepared a few different ways and the price of chicken goes up, then everything is going to go up.”