Popeyes this week announced its intention to unleash its own chicken nuggets upon the world, potentially making life worth living for at least a few more weeks. As a direct follow-up to the earthshattering popularity of its reformulated chicken sandwich first released in 2019, the new Popeyes Chicken Nuggets will see the company once again taking square aim at some of the biggest purveyors of nugs out there, including McDonald’s and Wendy’s.
One might be naturally thinking “why didn’t Popeyes already have nuggets?”, but they’re actually not that ubiquitous at chicken-focused fast food restaurants such as KFC and Popeyes, which primarily focus on bone-in chicken and boneless chicken tenders. Popeyes has dabbled with “popcorn” chicken and nuggets in the past, but this release represents a complete rework, complete with overpuffed promises like the following from President of Popeyes Americas Sami Siddiqui: “Just like our game-changing Chicken Sandwich, our new Chicken Nuggets are unlike anything you may have experienced before. We believe that these piece(s) of crunchy, juicy delicious chicken will have guests question how they ever enjoyed chicken nuggets before this.”
Strong words, but can Popeyes back them up? And, perhaps more importantly, will they be able to deal with what could be insatiable demand? The mania surrounding the Popeyes chicken sandwich two years ago remains the stuff of fast food legend, resulting in lines of cars curled around blocks and literal, physical violence erupting in lines of people waiting to purchase the sandwich. Popeyes quickly ran out of stock in terms of the chicken they needed to produce the sandwich, which caused it to be taken off menus for a number of months.
This time around, the company intends for there to be no such interruption of availability—in fact, according to Bloomberg they’ve literally been hoarding frozen chicken for the last six months, building up their inventory in anticipation of sky-high nugget demand. Chicken prices for suppliers have also been ascending thanks to COVID-related resource shortages, but Popeyes has plowed on ahead—these nugs wait for no man.
Popeyes Chicken Nuggets will drop at restaurants across the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico on July 27. So you know, if you happen to see your local corner location burned to the ground around that date, you’ll at least have an educated guess as to the potential reason for the calamity.