Why people are going crazy over this Sam's Club food court item

What if we told you that there was now a way to satisfy your Chick-fil-A craving on a Sunday? No, the fast food chain that's famously closed every seventh day of the week hasn't done a sudden about-face when it comes to that particular business practice — CFA is still, indeed, closed on Sundays, and it doesn't look like that's ever going to change. But Sam's Club, which happens to be open every single day of the week, can help. At least they can if it's nuggets that you're craving.  

In August 2018, the warehouse store started selling frozen Member's Mark Southern Style Chicken Bites. "So what?" you say. Well, the word quickly spread that this frozen option, sold in 3-pound bags for $9.98 a pop, seemed to be a true Chick-fil-A copycat. Now, it's long been rumored that the reason CFA's chicken is so good is because they brine the meat in pickle juice, which could account for that distinct flavor we all know and love. Could Member's Mark deliver on that signature taste? Apparently they could. According to the package, "Southern style chicken serves up old-fashioned flavor without all the fuss to prepare. Lightly breaded to perfection, all you do is heat and serve. And just as you'd expect, the chicken is tender and moist, with a hint of dill flavor. The chicken is also made with 100 percent whole solid white meat chicken…" There it is — that hint of dill flavor. 

Consumers raved, saying the Sam's Club option tasted and looked exactly like Chick-fil-A. One self-professed CFA evangelist reviewed the product, saying, "As much as our family loves CFA and will always be loyal customers, we can't not buy these! These are the best frozen chicken nuggets we've ever had, and sure – you can't eat them all the time, but anyone with kids knows they're a staple — and these are the best. Tender, juicy, perfectly breaded, and they literally taste just like CFA nuggets." Even dubious MyRecipes taste testers had to admit that their "most skeptical tasters were impressed," saying they were "caught off guard by how closely these nuggets resemble the real deal. … In terms of flavor, tasters noted that the copycat nuggets definitely delivered on the dill pickle flavor they'd expect and were pleased with the succulence of the meat."

Deliciousness aside, a bit of quick math tells you that the Sam's Club version is a total win when it comes to your pocketbook, too. An order of six nuggets from Chick-fil-A will run you $2.76 as of June 2019 (prices vary by location), while six of the Member's Mark chicken bites will only cost you about 83 cents. Grab a bag of waffle fries while you're in the frozen food aisle and you're basically serving up a legit CFA dinner to your family for pennies on the dollar. 

But maybe frozen nuggets are just too much work. Maybe you don't even want to go through all that hassle of turning the oven on, taking the chicken bites out of the freezer, and getting a baking sheet dirty? You're in luck. Sam's Club is now selling these bad boys in their food court, piping hot, no work required on your end. All you have to do is order and eat. According to Southern Living, you can score a 12 to 14 piece order (which weighs in at a little under half a pound), for $2.50. This is not a drill — at least a dozen nuggets for under $3. Compare that to Chick-fil-A's 12 piece order, which will run you $5.15, and you don't have to be a math whiz to know that CFA's nuggets will cost you more than twice what you'll pay at the Sam's Club Cafe. And hey, if you smuggle a couple containers of bootleg Chick-fil-A Sauce into the food court, you're really in business. Of course, when you compare the cost of the chicken bites from the food court versus the cost of the frozen nuggets you prepare at home, you'll be paying a bit more — somewhere in the ballpark of an extra 84 cents per 12-piece serving. But remember, you don't have to do anything — that's worth 84 cents, right?

If you're not a card-carrying Sam's Club member and you're getting ready to pull the trigger on that $45 annual fee for the sole purpose of being able to procure these copycat CFA nuggets on a Sunday, don't. Here's a little fine print secret from the store itself: You don't actually need a membership to dine at the Sam's Club food court. (And for what it's worth, you could also grab that bag of frozen nuggets without a membership, too — you'll just pay 10 percent more for it.)

Whether you get 'em at the food court, ready to eat, or pick up a bag of frozen nuggets, you can rest easy knowing that no matter when the craving strikes, even on Sunday, a darn good Chick-fil-A alternative is available, and cheaper at that.