The Chicken Sandwich Wars Just Got More Intense

Canadians have a reputation for being such polite people — well, at least when they're outside of a hockey rink. Canadian fast-food companies, though, obviously didn't get the memo — or at least the U.S.-based companies who seem to take the gloves off once they head up north didn't. KFC, in particular, seems to feel that the Great White North is the Wild West, and they're determined to beat their rival Popeyes to the draw in the shootout at the Chicken Sandwich Corral.

Just two weeks ago, KFC tweeted a diss questioning the fame of Popeye's chicken sandwich, which, admittedly, could also be called "notorious," but there's no doubt it's known by everyone. As to why they would start pecking at this product a full year after its launch, that's because the sandwich, until now, had not been available outside the U.S. Its long-anticipated Canadian launch was set for September 14th (via Narcity), and KFC wasn't going to let that gala occasion go by without showing up to spoil the party like Maleficent at Sleeping Beauty's christening. 

Popeyes was so eager to get its sandwich into the hands of Canadians, in fact, that they offered an exclusive early drop to those who were on a limited list (via Narcity). But KFC had a counter-attack planned even before that date appeared on the calendar, and managed to make an early entry into the Chicken Sandwich Wars.

KFC debuts its chicken sandwich

As KFC's earlier tweet had promised (or perhaps threatened) "something" would be coming on September 7th. Perhaps not surprisingly, that something turned out to be a new chicken sandwich almost identical to the Popeye's offering. Narcity calls the similarities between the two sandwiches "unbelievable," with both featuring fried chicken, pickles, and white sauce (mayo?) applied to both top and bottom buns. What's more, KFC didn't stop with simply beating Popeyes to the punch. As one Twitter user reveals, while he was standing in line to get a Popeye's sandwich on launch day, KFC "airdropped" a coupon for $2 off their sandwich good only on that day. 

Some Twitter users, though, were a little wary of the brewing conflict, and didn't feel that it'd necessarily go in KFC's favor. "Yall trying to start a fight with @PopeyesCA?" wrote truemarksman27. "They got in a fight with Chick-fil-a once, and we all seen how that turned out. I warn you kfc, tread carefully."

How does the KFC chicken sandwich compare to Popeyes, nutrition-wise?

While the sandwiches may be similar in appearance, they don't pack in the same number of calories by a long shot. The KFC version has 522 calories in one sandwich, while the Popeyes chicken sandwich clocks in at 699. The differences don't stop there, either. The KFC sandwich has 996 mg of sodium, which sounds like a hefty dose — until you look at Popeyes, which has over 1,400 mg. 

The Popeyes chicken sandwich also has more fat — 42 g, while KFC's offering has 26 g. 

However, both have different flavors you can choose from. You can get a KFC Famous Chicken Sandwich in classic or spicy, and the Popeyes version also offers two flavors — classic and spicy. 

While the KFC sandwich seems to be a better choice, nutrition-wise, the real question might be — how does it taste? After all, all those extra grams of fat and bonus calories probably do something to alter the taste, and that seems to be the case — at least according to reviews found on Twitter so far.

How KFC may have drummed up business for Popeyes

So how is KFC Canada's new sandwich, really? Well, it seems that much of the horn-tooting is coming from the chain itself, which is constantly tweeting and re-tweeting what praise it gets. KFC Canada has even gone a step further and is rotating positive tweets in and out of their official bio. One such positive tweet, "This sandwich is special," sits atop the company's official Twitter account as of 9/16. The comment threads, however, seem to tell a different story, with Twitter users complaining about "misleading advertising," "HEAVY disappointment," "a waste of calorie space," and the sandwich being "very plain." 

Quite a few mentioned that the sandwich made them even more anxious for Popeye's offering, so KFC might have just staged the best advertising stunt for their rival: coming out with a pale imitation of the real deal. Kind of like kicking the winning field goal right through the opposing team's goalposts... Oops. Looks like the Colonel failed to conquer Canada, after all.