You had me at “brioche.”
By the time you read this, the fast-food restaurant chain Popeyes will be reprising its new fried chicken sandwich, which first debuted nationwide on Aug. 12. Thanks to the power of social media, everyone wanted a taste, and the sandwich sold out in two weeks.
Suddenly, there was a chicken sandwich shortage — either that or Popeyes made a brilliant marketing move.
People went bonkers for the sandwich featuring a fried chicken fillet on pickles with classic or spicy sauce on a toasted brioche bun.
No, I wasn’t one of the folks who stood in line trying to get my hands on the new menu item, but many Nashua area residents and maybe even several from Manchester were probably lining up. Here in the Gate City, there is just one Popeyes restaurant — on Daniel Webster Highway — and it includes a drive-thru. The only other New Hampshire location is in Salem.
Really now, we’re making this much of a fuss over a $4 sandwich?
If you thought that fast-food was dead, you would be wrong.
Just take a drive along our downtown or up Amherst Street or down Daniel Webster Highway and you will be bombarded by a dizzying display of numerous fast-food establishments, including McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, Chick-fil-A, Burger King, Arby’s, KFC, Domino’s and Dunkin’. Have I missed any? Probably. But you get my point.
And yes, there are always cars in the parking lots and waiting at the drive-thru. So someone’s indulging, and maybe it’s you.
Statistics were kept on who was actually lining up to buy the new Popeyes fried-chicken sandwich, and it was a younger, wealthier demographic, according to Forbes.com. “Gen Xers and millennials made up two-thirds of those who bought the sandwich.”
These restaurants sell mostly high-calorie foods laden with fats, sodium and cholesterol. But the stuff sure tastes good, is affordable, and these franchises have learned to play the game. Fast-food establishments constantly create new menu items to keep the customer coming back. Social media takes notice and can cause a gastronomic frenzy — as in the Popeyes case.
Throw in third-party and you can even have fast-food brought to your doorstep.
Healthier, plant-based meat offerings are hip, too. Burger King has found success with its Impossible Whopper, 100% Whopper, 0% beef. And it’s a big seller at the Nashua BK on Amherst Street, one employee told me.
These restaurants are making it super easy to grab your grub with high-tech convenience. At Pizza Hut, for example, you can place an order by smartwatch, television or Amazon’s Alexa.
Consumers love their fast food, whether it’s up in Nashua or down in Nashville.
If you don’t know a Naked Chicken Chalupa (Taco Bell) from a Spicy Bonafide (Popeyes) from a Nashville Hot (KFC), then you’re a better person than I.
I feel stuffed already just writing about it.