Popeyes Already Has A New Wing Flavor In The Works

Honey Lemon Pepper Wings will hit the Popeyes menu this month.

Popeyes is ready to strike while the iron—or rather, the fryer—is still hot. The fried chicken chain has seen major success with chicken wings, its newest menu item, even going so far as to celebrate them with a big, splashy Super Bowl ad. Now, Popeyes is building on that momentum by expanding the lineup with a new limited-time flavor.

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Starting March 19, Popeyes will offer Honey Lemon Pepper Wings in either a six-, 18-, or 24-piece serving. The new chicken wing flavor will only be available on the Popeyes app or website until March 31. On April 1, the new flavor will be made available nationwide.

"We're on a mission to continue transforming the wing game and elevate the wing flavors consumers know and love in a way only Popeyes can," said Amy Alarcon, Vice President of Culinary Innovation at Popeyes, in the announcement.

The Honey Lemon Pepper wings will (temporarily) join the rest of the lineup, which includes five flavors: Ghost Pepper, Roasted Garlic Parmesan, Sweet 'N Spicy, Signature Hot, and Honey BBQ. The new flavor is described as having a sweet and tangy "punch" with zesty lemon and peppery heat, as well as an extra hint of honey sweetness. The wings are hand-battered, breaded, and made to be crisp on the outside.

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Interestingly, in its campaign for the new Honey Lemon Pepper Wings Popeyes appears to be taking aim at a close chicken wing competitor, Wingstop. Popeyes describes its campaign as "playful," as it encourages customers to "break up" with their previous wing spot. Imagery for the campaign even shows an order of wings in a green basket strikingly similar to Wingstop's branding:

Popeyes added chicken wings to its permanent menu offerings back in November, and its leadership notes the response to the new menu items has been incredibly positive, not to mention lucrative: wings have increased the brand's delivery and digital sales, now accounting for 25% of overall sales. After just a few months of selling wings, the CEO of Popeyes' parent company, Restaurant Brands International, said chain is the No. 3 provider of quick-service chicken wings in the country. Despite Popeyes' rapid success and confidence in its chicken wings, however, Wingstop does not seem bothered by the new competition.

"When other brands promote wings, it's actually a benefit to our business," said Wingstop CEO Michael Skipworth on a recent earnings call. "If consumers are aware of Wingstop, there's not a decision tree when they want wings. They go to Wingstop."

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Wing lovers should keep their eyes peeled—you never know if a chicken wing war could be on the horizon.

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