In the wake of the Chicken Sandwich wars (from 2019 to 2021, according to Wikipedia), we can assess the winners and losers.
The takeaway is that if you want Gen Z to visit your restaurant, you need to offer chicken. The winners of the war include Chick-fil-A and Popeye’s, while the losers include Taco Bell and McDonald’s.
CivicScience recently looked at the data and found that Chick-fil-A had the highest positive ratings from consumers (68%), and a negative rating of only 12%.
Meanwhile, canvassing the public, CivicScience found that only 16% of people (based on 3,060 responses from Jan. 19-23, 2023) order chicken sandwiches “most of the time,” and just 6% order chicken sandwiches “every time I go.” But 16% of the public said they “never order chicken sandwiches.”
The survey found that younger people are much more apt to order chicken sandwiches than their older counterparts. Some 18% of Gen Z customers said they order chicken sandwiches “every time” they get fast food, and another 26% said they get them most of the time.
That’s nearly twice the rate of Gen Y (25-34 year-old) consumers. As Civic Science notes, “even if the Chicken Sandwich Wars might be dormant compared to a few years ago, the youngest fast-food lovers could be itching for another revival.”
Chick-fil-A’s high standing in the CivicScience survey aligns with another Piper Sandler survey in October 2022 of 14,500 teens across 47 states with an average age of 15.8. Those teens picked Chick-fil-A as their No. 1 choice. Next on that list was Starbucks, which got 12% share, next to Chick-fil-A’s 15% and then Chipotle (7%), McDonald’s (6%) and Olive Garden (3%).