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Popeyes Chicken Sandwich Is Back. But Why Did It Run Out in the First Place?

November 3, 2019, 11:30 AM UTC

After a two-month hiatus, the viral chicken sandwich that sold out across the country in only two weeks returns to Popeyes today—on National Sandwich Day. 

In the video above, Fortune asks Popeyes company leaders Bruno Cardinali, head of marketing in North America; Amy Alarcon, head chef; and Felipe Athayde, president of the Americas, about what caused the shortage and how the company has prepared for the re-launch.

Michelle Greenwald, Adjunct Associate Professor of Business at Columbia Business School and CEO of Inventours, also weighs in with why she thinks the nation cared so much about the menu item in the first place. 

The sandwich’s debut in August started the feud that many dubbed the “Chicken Sandwich Wars.” Customers flocked to social media to pit the Louisiana-based fast-food restaurant against Chick-fil-A, the self-proclaimed “home of the original chicken sandwich,” and the two chains exchanged a few jesting tweets. 

“Everyone wanted to try the sandwich and wanted to express their opinion and pick their favorite,” Athayde says. “That’s why I think it went viral, and that’s why everyone really got excited about our chicken sandwich.” 

The war ran out of steam as Popeyes ran out of chicken, but it’s heating up once again.

The sandwich’s return comes on a Sunday, the one day of the week that Chick-fil-A is famously closed in observance of the Christian faith. Popeyes tweeted out a video in which it teases its rival about the closure.

Still, Cardinali says it’s purely coincidental that National Sandwich Day falls on a Sunday.

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