The Hot Wars Heat Up
Some of you RF-ers may find this of interest. This came off the web about a week ago.
Bonita Springs, FL
CHICAGO - McDonald’s Corp., the burger chain leader, may be shying away from spicy chicken just as rival Wendy’s brings on more heat.
McDonald’s is pulling the Hot 'n' Spicy McChicken sandwich from its menu after just six months, according to an article in Wednesday’s Chicago Tribune. The paper said the spicy sandwich would be replaced by a snack-sized chicken wrap.
Meanwhile, Wendy’s International Inc. said that it would reach out to consumers craving an extra kick by testing a new spicier sandwich at the end of July.
Wendy’s said its Spicy Chicken sandwich, which has been on the menu since 1996, has been one of the best-selling items.
“We have defended our Spicy Chicken successfully against competitive intrusion -- most recently by McDonald’s earlier this year,” Ian Rowden, Wendy’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer, said in a statement on Wednesday.
McDonald’s could not immediately be reached for comment.
“My read on the McDonald’s announcement is they were more or less clearing the deck for the new chicken wrap snacker item,” Bob Goldin, executive vice president of market research firm Technomics Inc. said, referring to an item that the chain is rolling out. “They have an awful lot of chicken already.”
In May, McDonald’s said that its spicy chicken sandwich was one of the items that helped drive strong comparable sales at its U.S. restaurants in April.
Dublin, Ohio-based Wendy’s said it would test the new 4-Alarm Spicy Chicken sandwich in three markets, but declined to name them. Wendy’s regular spicy chicken sandwich sells for $3.19, and the 4-Alarm version will cost $3.99.
Wendy’s also said that its 99-cent Crispy Chicken Sandwich, which was launched in June, was meeting sales expectations.
Wendy’s is in the midst of a turnaround that includes cutting costs while introducing new items to appeal to younger consumers. The company’s chairman and chief executive officer retired unexpectedly in April and Chief Financial Officer Kerrii Anderson has been serving as interim CEO.