Poultry is no longer an afterthought at traditionally beef-oriented fast food chains like McDonald's and Burger King, which earlier this year launched, respectively, a chicken wrap and a turkey burger on their menus. For insiders, the new items are just evident of a longtime wave toward beef alternatives.
Whether it's a business offense or defense, Kentucky Fried Chicken will be rolling out boneless fried chicken filets on April 14. KFC's website has a countdown with the tagline “the greatest day in chicken history.” (Editor's note: the second greatest day in history being, presumably, when scientists create the entirely boneless chicken.) In recent years, the chain has released the Double Down and the Famous Bowl — the latter a concoction that Patton Oswalt has called “a failure pile in a sadness bowl.”
According to the quick service restaurant (QSR) analysis by Burger Business, the number of chicken options on the menu first trumped that of beef five years ago. It wasn't until 2010 that the rise of beef prices cemented what had been an ongoing trend.
It doesn't help the beef industry that the chicken industry have had in place a system of raising chickens quickly and on the cheap for decades, making its products cheaper in contrast. Slate reports that the beef industry, as a result, has incorporated a growth drug, Zilmax, in the raising of cattle. (Great.) Still, as the online burger publication points out, “it's a losing battle for beef,” given the popularity of the newer chicken menu items.
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