McDonald's Made a Simple Change to a Cult-Favorite Menu Item. Now, the Sandwich Is a $1 Billion Brand. The crispy chicken sandwich originally debuted on menus in 2021.

By Emily Rella

Getty Images
A look at McDonalds' McCrispy sandwich, which was formerly called the crispy chicken sandwich.

When McDonald's changed the name of its crispy chicken sandwich earlier this year to the McCrispy, same-store sales rose 12.6% in Q1 — the first quarter the new sandwich was rolled out.

Now, after the company announced its Q3 2023 results, it has become clear that branding matters and that McCrispy is clucking good proof of it.

During an earnings call on Monday, McDonald's executives revealed that the McCrispy sandwich is now a $1 billion global brand, taking on a life of its own and becoming an instant cult favorite with loyal customers.

Related: McDonald's Is Making a Major Change to its McFlurry

"Our McCrispy chicken sandwich continues to be an important driver of chicken share growth, having first launched in markets like Canada and Germany and now a billion-dollar brand," McDonald's Chief Financial Officer Ian Borden said on the call. "Our food is at the heart of our customers' relationship with the brand. This is why we're taking a One McDonald's Way approach to our menu, further fueling our chicken ambition by scaling core chicken equities."

The chain rebranded its crispy chicken sandwich to the McCrispy in March 2023, explaining in a statement at the time that the sandwich earning its "Mc" is a true McDonald's badge of honor" upon the name change.

Global same-store sales in McDonald's increased 8.8% in Q3, while overall revenue was up 14% quarterly.

Price increases implemented in U.S.-based restaurants also paid off, as same-store sales increased 8.1%.

"By combining strong execution of our core menu offerings, with new flavor news and limited additional complexity, we continue to strengthen our chicken credibility with customers and maintain our market share leadership in the chicken category," Borden said.

Related: McDonald's Announces 'Free Fries Fridays' Until End of Year

McDonald's originally rolled out the crispy chicken sandwich in 2021, which consists of a "crispy chicken fillet made with all-white meat, crinkle-cut pickles" and is served on a buttered potato roll.

McDonald's was close to flat year-over-year as of Tuesday afternoon at just under 3.8% down.

Emily Rella

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior News Writer

Emily Rella is a Senior News Writer at Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media. Her coverage spans features, business, lifestyle, tech, entertainment, and lifestyle. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native. Find her on Twitter at @EmilyKRella.

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