What Exactly Is Chick-Fil-A's Polynesian Sauce?

Chick-fil-A's Polynesian sauce is, according to its ingredient label, a tasty blend of sugar, corn syrup, soybean oil, vinegar, tomato paste, beet juice, and assorted flavorings and preservatives. Chick-fil-A's website describes its flavor profile in slightly more appetizing terms, writing that it's "[a] delicious sweet and sour sauce with a strong, tangy flavor."

Polynesian sauce was actually one of Chick-fil-A's very first dipping sauces, introduced in 1984 along with honey mustard and barbeque. It actually predates the iconic Chick-fil-A sauce's addition to the menu by more than 20 years. These sauces were meant to accompany the chicken nuggets which had been a popular Chick-fil-A menu item since 1982, despite the fact that for the first two years they evidently had to be eaten sans sauce.  

​Chick-fil-A's Polynesian sauce is a hit with customers, but not critics

While Chick-fil-A's numero uno nugget dip all across the U.S. is its signature Chick-fil-A sauce, the company also surveyed restaurants across four different regions to see which sauces were local favorites. While the southwest and midwest go for barbeque, and the west coast is all about garlic & herb ranch, it turns out the entire eastern seaboard has a passion for Polynesian (they're probably also big fans of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Moana).

Food bloggers, however, have been somewhat less enthusiastic about the Polynesian sauce. Sweety High ranked Chick-fil-A's seventh on a list of nine dips, writing, "It's a more mature take on a classic sweet and sour sauce. Though some might find it too sweet, we think the flavor has a nice balance." Vox Magazine noted, "The name 'Polynesian' just makes it sound enticing. It's basically a tame sweet and sour sauce, but it's not bad at all," ranking it third out of eight sauces. Business Insider, however, was deeply unimpressed with Polynesian sauce, writing, "The goopy sauce's super-sweet and syrupy flavor is instantly distinctive and beloved by many — but, in my opinion, the pink sauce is better left in your bag."