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Wendy’s newest menu item is heating up the chicken sandwich wars

The fast food chain released an accompanying salad, too

FILE- This Feb. 23, 2018, file photo shows a Wendy’s restaurant in Pittsburgh. Wendy’s Co. on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019 reported fourth-quarter net income of $18.8 million. On a per-share basis, the Dublin, Ohio-based company said it had net income of 8 cen
This 2018 file photo shows the exterior of a a Wendy’s restaurant in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Gene J. Puskar, Associated Press

Wendy’s is bringing the spice to the ongoing chicken sandwich wars as the fast food chain launched its new Jalapeño Popper Chicken Sandwich and new Jalapeño Popper Chicken Salad Wednesday.

What’s going on?

According to USA Today, the new sandwich enhances the chain’s spicy chicken fillet with jalapeño cream cheese, six sliced jalapeño bites, applewood-smoked bacon, cheddar and pepper-jack cheese all served between a toasted bun.

Its accompanying chicken salad consists of mixed lettuce topped with spicy chicken, jalapeño slices, shredded pepper jack cheese, applewood smoked bacon, diced tomatoes, jalapeño ranch dressing and jalapeño cheddar croutons, Hypebeast reports.

According to the site, the new sandwich and salad are priced at $5.99 and $6.79 respectively and both items are now available at Wendy’s locations nationwide.

Key quote

In a recent interview with CNN regarding the new jalapeño sandwich, Carl Loredo, Wendy’s chief marketing officer called out competitors for overlooking what he alleges consumers crave most: flavor.

  • “Consumers are looking for flavor, and unfortunately there’s boring and bland options out there from our competition,” he said (via CNN). “(The customers) are hyperfocused on flavor and it’s something they want and need right now. ... If I’m honest, folks are trying to make news out of products that we’ve had out there and been doing best-in-class for some time.”

Other chicken sandwich news

Wendy’s new menu items come just one week before McDonald’s launches its bid in the chicken sandwich wars. As previously reported by the Deseret News, the golden arches chain is releasing three new “juicier and crispier” chicken sandwiches nationwide on Feb. 24.

Earlier this week, Burger King also announced its plans to launch a new and improved “hand breaded” chicken sandwich later this year, according to Today.