The burger chain announced the rollout of its Korean-style Fried Chick’n Sandwich and Korean-style Gochujang Chick’n Bites on Tuesday. Both items use Gochujang, a fermented red chili paste common in Korean cuisine.
Americans have been eating more chicken and less beef the last few years, a trend the fast-food industry has seized on recently, according to Peter Saleh, managing director and analyst covering restaurants and food distribution at BTIG, a broker-dealer investment bank.
“This has been an ongoing battle,” Saleh told CNN Business. “The chicken poultry segment is a little bit more popular these days with consumers. everybody’s trying to capitalize on that.”
Saleh said consumers should expect to see a surge in chicken sandwich promotions from major chains in early 2021, noting that many fast food companies pulled back on ads during the spring of 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic was peaking for the first time.
“A lot of them have this war chest of advertising that they used in the back end of 2020,” he said. “They will use that in the first half of 2021 for the new items, including the chicken sandwiches that they plan to launch.”
In addition to its two new chicken offerings, Shake Shack customers can also order a side of crinkle-cut fries served with Gochujang mayo sauce and the company’s new Black Sugar Vanilla Shake, a hand-spun frozen treat that Shake Shack says is popular in Korea, Taiwan and other Asian markets. The shake includes of mix of caramel-flavored, toasty black sugar and frozen vanilla custard topped off with whipped cream and black sugar syrup for $5.69.
“We tried countless joints over the years, immersing ourselves in all of the different styles and finding what makes Seoul such a delicious and iconic city,” Rosati told CNN Business via email. “We have come to love the diverse flavor profile Korean fried chicken offers.”
“We’ve seen great success for our chicken menu offerings,” Rosati said.
Hot Chick’n’s reintroduction fueled a late 2020 surge in Shake Shack’s sales, according to a December report from Cowen investment bank.