Chicken Sandwiches, Nostalgia, Value Menus

  • Experts predict that in 2023, customers will demand more and more value-for-money menus.
  • Chicken sandwich offerings may expand as chicken prices drop.
  • Fast food chains are using nostalgic foods and characters to attract old and new customers.

2022 was the year fast food introduced new technology and focused on drive-thru and mobile ordering. They aren’t going away, but there are other trends on the horizon. Here’s what to watch out for in 2023.

1. Fast food menus emphasize value

Hollis Johnson

Value has always been part of what draws consumers to fast food, but it becomes even more important in an atmosphere of inflation and rising prices. “People want to feel they are getting good value,” Mark Kalinowski, CEO and president of Equity Associates, told Insider.

Fast-food chains are likely to introduce menu items “to deliver the value customers want,” he told Insider. Kalinowski said he pointed to Taco Bell as a chain with a history of customer-favorite menu items while still giving the chain high margins.

He “wouldn’t be surprised” if Taco Bell brings back $2 menu items in early 2023.

2. Chicken sandwich variations

Popeye's Blackened Chicken Sandwich


Fried chicken sandwiches and new variations of chicken sandwiches will be one of the biggest trends of the new year, according to a survey of more than 500 industry professionals conducted by the National Restaurant Association.

U.S. chicken breast prices are down 70% from their peak in June, according to The Wall Street Journal, and thighs and wings are also down, offering much more attractive margins for chains. means that there is

A major QSR chain has already announced plans to bring back the chicken sandwich. On November 15th, Popeyes released a new Blackened Chicken Sandwich. The chain explicitly advertises its new sandwiches as “rekindling the chicken sandwich war,” which began with the release of the 2019 Popeyes Spicy Chicken Sandwich. Burger King and Wendy’s are also promoting new chicken sandwiches.

3. Nostalgia

McDonald's Cactus Collaboration Happy Meal


Nostalgic brands and menu items will be big in 2023, according to Yelp predictions by data scientists and trend experts.

McDonald’s has sold out of adult Happy Meal boxes, and Taco Bell has brought back enchiritos. He has two reasons why nostalgic characters and menu offerings are attractive to restaurants. That’s because it appeals to adults who already remember the original promotion and can introduce a new generation of consumers.

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