Which Quick Service Restaurants are selling the most chicken sandwiches?
Figure 1: Chart shows estimated market share of spend on chicken sandwiches by month, from January 1, 2019 - December 31, 2020, according to Edison Trends. This analysis was performed on over 100,000 transactions from 20 restaurants, ordering platforms, and food delivery services.
Looking at online spending on chicken sandwiches from these eight chains, it's easy to see the big bite Popeyes took out of Chick-fil-A and McDonalds when they introduced their chicken sandwich on August 12, 2019. That sandwich sold out soon after, but Popeyes had recovered by November 2019, climbing briefly to a peak chicken sandwich market share in January, when they earned 33% of the money spent on chicken sandwiches between these brands.
After that Chick-fil-A regained top position and has held it since, with 45% share in December 2020, up two percentage points over November. Popeyes was a distant second in December, at 17% share. McDonald's had 16% and Wendy's 7%.
Though the top four restaurants for chicken sandwich share have retained their positions since February 2020, the next four—Burger King, Jack in the Box, Zaxby's, and KFC--have jockeyed for position. Burger King, which had crept briefly ahead of Wendy's in November 2019, now stands tied with Jack in the Box at 4%, with Zaxby's and KFC right behind at 3% each.