Honey-drizzled fried chicken is popping up on top quick-service chain menus. These offerings bring together sweet and savory, the two most appealing and craveable of all basic flavors, according to Technomic’s Flavor Consumer Trend Report. Honey is a way to differentiate the comfort food classic, as it lends a sweetness to savory fried chicken that standard pairings like gravy and Buffalo sauces lack. Chicago joint Honey Butter Fried Chicken even dedicates its entire concept to honey-topped fried chicken. Here are three QSRs turning to honey to set apart their fried chicken.
Shake Shack is testing a Salt & Pepper Honey Chick’n sandwich at its three Brooklyn, N.Y., restaurants. Priced at $6.29, the sandwich features a buttermilk-marinated fried breast sprinkled with black pepper and salted honey and served on a potato bun. The chain hopes to capture similar success with the Salt & Pepper Honey version as it has with its Chick’n Shack, which debuted earlier this year and has remained “a top-three selling menu item,” according to CEO Randy Garutti.
Biscuitville Fresh Southern
Biscuitville Fresh Southern’s Spicy Chicken and Honey Biscuit sandwich features a spicy fried breast fillet drizzled with honey. The chain focuses its promotion of the product on the locally produced honey as a way to show support in “local family businesses and high quality ingredients,” according to CEO Burney Jennings. Available through December, the sandwich is now available in all 54 Biscuitville restaurants in North Carolina and Virginia for $3.49.
KFC began testing Georgia Gold Honey Mustard BBQ chicken in Mobile, Ala., and Pittsburgh this summer. Hoping to recreate the success of Nashville Hot Chicken (which KFC describes as the most successful launch in the chain’s history), the regional classic features what KFC’s U.S. CMO Kevin Hochman describes as “grown-up honey mustard—sweet with attitude.” The honey mustard barbecue sauce and pickles top a choice of entree, including crispy chicken, wings or tenders.