Popeyes says its latest menu item is a huge hit

The chain said that its Sweet ‘n Spicy Wings have become its best new product introduction since the chain’s chicken sandwich.
Popeyes says its newest flavor of chicken wings is its most popular new product introduction since the chicken sandwich. | Photo: Shutterstock.

Does Popeyes have another chicken sandwich on its hands? Probably not. But apparently its Sweet ‘n Spicy Wings have become a hit.

That, at least, is according to the feed from the chain’s social media channel formerly known as Twitter, which featured a long line of cars along with the phrase, “Y’all got wings?”

The company said that the wings, introduced two weeks ago, have become the most popular new product introduction since the aforementioned chicken sandwich. The wings are marinated, cooked crisp and tossed in a blend of chili, garlic and ginger.

Popeyes has had chicken wings for at least five years and has had new flavors periodically, such as Ghost Pepper Wings. The popularity of the wings comes at the right time, with football season about to begin. Chicken wing popularity typically increases during football season, peaking during the Super Bowl.

The wings have receivedgenerally positive reviews on social media since its introduction. Those reviews have helped to drive some interest in the product, enough to create some long drive-thru lines at least.

The Miami-based chicken chain is hoping to conjure some reminders from four years ago, when the chain introduced its chicken sandwich.

It sold so well the company ran out of product, leading to weeks of company-wide training and supply chain preparation that led to the reintroduction of the product the following November.

Same-store sales rose nearly 40% that quarter, the best performance during a non-pandemic-influenced period in modern industry history. The performance led dozens of other chains to join the fray, igniting what is now known as the Chicken Sandwich Wars.

Popeyes wings

Popeyes Sweet 'n Spicy wings have proven popular so far. | Photo courtesy of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen.

The same is unlikely here. Popeyes doesn’t appear to be running out of the product, for one thing. For another, few items have come anywhere close to the popularity that sandwich generated four years ago.

Still, for Popeyes the Sweet ‘n Spicy Wings could prove to be a timely hit. While same-store sales have slowly improved in recent quarters, Popeyes has underperformed other fast-food chains for more than two years after enthusiasm over the sandwich’s introduction waned.

The company has been working on improving operations at the restaurant level, believing that growing complexity has slowed service and therefore sales. The company is taking a “hard look” at its kitchen operations.

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.


Exclusive Content


It's time to send 'ghost kitchen' to the graveyard

Tech Check: The catch-all term for delivery restaurants is no longer accurate. Let’s lay it to rest and come up with a new label.


Higher-end consumers may be slowing their spending

The Bottom Line: There is some evidence that higher-income consumers may be cutting back. Or maybe there was just some pent-up demand.


Wonder bets meal kits aren't dead yet

Tech Check: By acquiring the struggling Blue Apron, the restaurant delivery concept believes it can touch more dining occasions. But will it work?


More from our partners