AFC Enterprises, Inc., through its ownership of the Popeyes Chicken and Biscuits and Churchs Chicken chains, holds the number two position in the U.S. fast-food chicken sector, trailing only KFC. . The Popeyes chain, specializing in a Cajun-style fried chicken that is spicier than most conventional recipes, consists of 1,325 units, 1,152 of which are franchised.
The first Popeyes was opened by Al Copeland in June 1972. By the early 1980s, Popeyes was the third largest fast-food chicken chain, behind KFC and Churchs. New menu items included chicken tacos, barbecued beans, red beans and rice, and, most important, a new biscuit.
Wicked Chicken Box
So what was in the box? The Popeyes Wicked Chicken offering included thin strips of juicy, all white meat chicken marinated with authentic Louisiana seasonings and cooked in the uniquely crispy coating until twisty and curly, all served in an on-the-go snack box piled high with Cajun Fries, a buttery biscuit, and ranch dipping sauce. And the kicker: also included was a mini bottle of TABASCO® Sauce — the perfect complement to personalize the meal with just the right amount of kick.
Popeyes Wicked Chicken snack boxes containing TABASCO mini bottles was market tested in January 2010 in 231 restaurants located in 15 select U.S. cities and quickly became a strong seller on Popeyes menus. According to Popeyes consumer research conducted after the initial pilot, the inclusion of the mini TABASCO bottle was a selling point for a number of repeat customers. In addition, the findings showed 75 percent of consumers who tested the product were extremely satisfied with the level of spiciness.
See sidebar for Chicken Strips Recipe.