August 30, 2019
Watch out, Chick fil-A! America’s largest purveyor of fried chicken sandwiches now has some significant competition. Popeyes, a quick-service chicken restaurant chain that has been serving its own set of fried chicken fans since 1972, soon may be looking at you in its rear vision mirror.
You couldn’t watch a television news program or scour Twitter or Facebook during the past week without spotting some mention of Popeyes fried chicken sandwich. But how did that translate to marketing value? Awfully well, as it turns out, according to an August 28 report by Forbes.
Apex Marketing Group estimated Wednesday that Popeyes reaped $65 million in “equivalent media value” as a result of the Chicken Sandwich Wars. The firm, based outside Detroit, defines that as the price a company would have to pay to purchase the attention it received for free. Apex takes into account television, radio, online and print news reports, as well as social media mentions.
The $65 million figure is nearly triple the $23 million in media value that the sandwich generated in its first few days on sale, according to an earlier Apex estimate.
On Tuesday, Popeyes announced that the chicken sandwich would be sold out by the end of the week at its U.S. restaurants, the business news outlet said..
But the restaurant chain says that it intends to bring back the chicken sandwich as a feature of its regular menu, not simply a limited-time offer.
“It is a permanent menu item,” Dana Schopp, a Popeyes spokesperson, told Forbes on Wednesday.
Eric Smallwood, the president of Apex Marketing, says the chicken sandwich’s media value built relatively slowly in the days right after it went on sale. The big jump in media value came when news outlets began running taste tests comparing the sandwich with other fast food companies’ chicken offerings.
The attention that Popeyes received could not have happened a decade ago without social media, Smallwood said.
Research contact: @PopeyesChicken