The World May Be Running Out of Chicken Sandwiches
Lately, it feels like every fast food chain is going head-to-head in a battle for who has the best chicken sandwich. But this fierce competition may soon screech to a halt due one looming problem: there's a shortage of small chickens.
Whether your vice is Chick-fil-A, Popeyes, or McDonald's (who just added two new chicken sandwiches to their menu), these fast food giants are all facing a similar dilemma, according to Bloomberg. A lack of small chickens is even why Popeyes couldn't continue their reign of poultry terror during the summer of 2019 and had to take a months-long hiatus.
While the size of a chicken may not seem important on the surface, it can have a huge impact on the final quality of a sandwich. Smaller birds are known for having juicier and more flavorful breasts. Plus, small breasts require less time processing and don't create much waste, unlike large pieces that have to be cut-to-size.
So far, it appears the only fast food chain to have foresight on the size issue is Wendy's. Although known for their beef burgers, in 2017 Wendy's invested $30 million in an effort to work with suppliers and shrink their average chicken size by 20 percent. This change came about because of consumer complaints about dry and flavorless sandwiches.
Currently, big chicken suppliers like Tyson and Perdue are refusing to comment on how they'll meet this uptick in demand, and there appears to be little growth industry-wide for smaller-sized chickens.
No one is sure of what the future holds for chicken sandwiches. This shortage could potentially increase product prices, we may experience something similar to the United Kingdom when KFC ran out of chicken nationwide, or things may stay exactly the same and only those behind-the-scenes of fast food chains will wring their hands in worry about the size of chicken breasts. Only time will tell.