05 America, land of the chicken
Here’s a surefire way to make millions: Create a new chicken sandwich.
You’ll likely never match Popeye’s or Chick-Fil-A or the buzz they generated last week. But things are great for chicken these days: Tyson’s stock has almost doubled this year, and the massive Filipino chain Jollibee’s sales were up 14% as it turned its focus to the US market. Even Golden Chick, the restaurant you forgot existed, expects a record number of new openings this year.
The US fast food chicken market is valued at $34B and has been growing at 8% annually.
The opportunity: Entrepreneurs could start fast-casual local chicken restaurants on the coasts and in the Midwest.
The best fast food chicken originates in the South, where it remains most prevalent. The Midwest and the coasts are lacking. New York, for instance, has ~20 Chick-fil-As. Much-smaller Alabama has ~75.
But chicken cravings aren’t limited to the South. Illinois, New York, Rhode Island, and New Jersey are among the top 10 states with the most search interest for “chicken restaurant.”
One standout: In Philadelphia, Federal Donuts is a wildly successful local chain. It pairs donuts with fried chicken and chicken sandwiches and has expanded in the last few years from one restaurant to 7, including a location at a Whole Foods.