Meat+Poultry - April 2021 - 51

versus just $1.4 million prior to the Chicken
Sandwich launch, Jose Cil, chief executive
officer of Restaurant Brands International
Inc. (RBI), parent company of Popeyes, told
analysts during a call to discuss fourth quarter
earnings for fiscal 2020.
" Popeyes US has been on an incredible run
since the second half of 2019, " Cil said, " and
I'm sure you'll recall that we relaunched our
Chicken Sandwich permanently in November
2019, posting a positive 38% comparable sales
in the fourth quarter of 2019. Nominal sales
in Q4 of 2020 continued at very strong levels
driven by sustained sandwich sales and also
success across the menu and in group and
family occasions.
" In January, we continued to lap the
early days of the relaunch of the Chicken
Sandwich, but the business is back to flat
and continuing to perform at healthy nominal
levels, " he said.
Joe Christina, CEO of Church's Chicken,
attributed the brand's solid performance of
2020 to a combination of factors that included
the chain's launch of a chicken sandwich.
Church's recorded consistent positive samestore sales with many weeks beating the
brand's best-ever sales in a decade since
launching the chicken sandwich in October of
2020, according to the company.
Scaling service of Church's Chicken
Sandwich required a modest acquisition of
new kitchen equipment, but the investment
was worth the effort, the company said,
because sales of the sandwich " ...quickly
yielded sensational results that have more than
recouped the cost of that equipment for almost
all operators. "
" We got big lifts from our family meals
and delivery during the pandemic. We also
had a blockbuster success with our Chicken

Sandwich, " Christina said. " However, when
we looked at the sales figures - we realized
that these were shining stars in an already
bright universe. By working closely with our
franchisees, vendors, and restaurant teams to
build momentum throughout the year we were
able to outperform 2019, one of our best years
in a decade. "
McDonald's Corp. launched three new
chicken sandwiches in February after a
series of market tests. Before the launch,
Chris Kempczinski, president and CEO,
sounded a positive note about the products
during a discussion of the company's fourthquarter earnings.
" We did have it in test market, and we were
encouraged, " he said. " I think our focus on
tests was much more on the operation side
than having it be sort of an advertised type of
test. So, for us, it was about just getting the
operation work through and confidence for us
in being able to deliver it in a high-quality way.
We feel good about that.
" So, we are optimistic as we head into
February - despite what was referenced
earlier, a lot of activity in this space - we think
we're prepared well to generate demand from
consumers on this one and then deliver on that
as consumers come into our restaurants. "
Poultry processors noted the uptick in
demand for breast meat. Joe F. Sanderson,
chairman and CEO of Laurel, Miss.-based
Sanderson Farms Inc., said market prices for
boneless breast meat manufactured at the
company's processing plant for large birds for
foodservice customers improved significantly
in January and into February.
" We attribute much of that improvement
to demand from quick-serve foodservice
restaurants, promoting new chicken products, "
Sanderson said. " And we believe foodservice

McDonald's Corp.
launched three new
chicken sandwiches in
February: (from left) the
Spicy Chicken Sandwich,
the Deluxe Crispy Chicken
Sandwich and the Crispy
Chicken Sandwich.

www.meatpoultry.com | 04.21 | MEAT+ POULTRY

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Meat+Poultry - April 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meat+Poultry - April 2021

Meat+Poultry - April 2021 - 1
Meat+Poultry - April 2021 - vdg - 1
Meat+Poultry - April 2021 - vdg - 2
Meat+Poultry - April 2021 - 1
Meat+Poultry - April 2021 - 2
Meat+Poultry - April 2021 - 3
Meat+Poultry - April 2021 - 4
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