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The company said it sells more than 600 million pounds of chicken each year. In 2005, McDonald's recorded a 27% share of chicken sandwiches, more than its top three competitors combined, the company reported. That may be a partial answer to many distributors' questions to ID Access about the disappearance of chicken from the foodservice supply chain.

The addition of the Spicy Premium Chicken Sandwich reflects not only the tastes of McDonald's customers, but according to a national survey, 85% of Americans said they like foods that are "bold, hot and spicy."

The new Spicy Premium Chicken Sandwich, available in more than 13,700 U.S. McDonald's restaurants, combines smoked Jalapeno, Cayenne pepper and other spices to deliver a bold new taste. The crispy chicken breast is served on a warm honey wheat roll with crisp lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise.

"Customers continue to tell us that they want great-tasting menu choices with new flavor and more variety," Ralph Alvarez, president, McDonald's North America, said in a prepared statement. "As a result, quality chicken products represent an important part of our menu."

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