McDonald’s hints at launch of new chicken sandwich by 2021

  • McDonald’s plans to launch new items by the end of 2020, company CEO Chris Kempczinski said Tuesday in a profit call.
  • Investors speculate that one of these new items could be a long-awaited chicken sandwich to compete with the Popeyes monster.
  • McDonald’s franchise owners have long pressured the company to develop a chicken sandwich that can compete with Popeyes and Chick-fil-A.
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McDonald’s significantly reduced its menu due to the pandemic, but many of those items are making a comeback, along with some new ones, according to a McDonald’s earnings call on Tuesday.

“I know there is an innovation planned for later this year that will bring some menu items,” McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski said in the call. “And then what the US operators have discussed with our team has been, let’s make sure every item we add comes back on the menu.”

In a report shared with Business Insider, research firm Gordon Haskett speculates that one of the new items on the McDonald’s menu could be a new chicken sandwich.

“We look forward to seeing the new line of chicken sandwiches introduced in the fourth quarter of 2020,” the report reads.

McDonald’s franchisees have long been lobbying the company to develop and launch a chicken sandwich to compete with Popeyes and Chick-fil-A. In a leaked email in January, franchisees urged the company to “stay focused” on developing a competitive chicken sandwich.

The chain tested two new chicken sandwiches in December 2019 and January 2020, but the company has not commented on whether it plans to move forward with the launch of those sandwiches.