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Is fish the new chicken? Popeyes introduces new Cajun Flounder Sandwich

The fast-food chain is offering "Sandwich Insurance" on launch day to anyone who doesn't like it.
On Thursday, Popeyes is introducing its first-ever fried fish sandwich.
On Thursday, Popeyes is introducing its first-ever fried fish sandwich.TODAY Illustration / Popeyes
/ Source: TODAY

After the hugely viral success of its fried chicken sandwich, Popeyes is coming for fish!

The fast-food chain is releasing its first-ever fried fish sandwich this week, the Cajun Flounder Sandwich. The new menu offering, which was tested in Chicago last year, will include “light and flakey” flounder seasoned “in a blend of the Louisiana-rooted brand’s Cajun mild and spicy seasoning,” Popeyes said in a news release.

Popeyes' new fish sandwich includes flounder with a crispy coating.
Popeyes' new fish sandwich includes flounder with a crispy coating.Popeyes

“The fried filet is served atop the same buttery toasted brioche bun with barrel cured pickles that fans know and love from the Chicken Sandwich, along with Popeyes legacy tartar sauce,” the company added.

For any skeptics of the new fish sandwich, or McDonald's Filet-O-Fish loyalists, Popeyes is offering Sandwich Insurance, available for 15 cents through the Popeyes app. On launch day only (Feb. 11), anyone who orders the Cajun Flounder Sandwich and doesn’t like it can have it replaced with a Chicken Sandwich, with purchase of insurance.

The Popeyes Chicken Sandwich went viral, to say the least, when it came out in August 2019. It sold out within two weeks of release and was relaunched in November of that year. There were long lines and even reports of violence as people scrambled to get their hands on it.

Now, more than a year after the fried chicken frenzy, is there a fried fish sandwich war on the horizon? Popeyes, for its part, says there shouldn't be any inventory issues this time around.

"Our flounder is a responsibly sourced, wild caught fish. Our sourcing follows NOAA standards and goes through regulations to ensure we maintain the species. The population levels of our fish are above normal, and we don’t anticipate running into any inventory issues," the company told TODAY in an email.

While the new fish sandwich's popularity has yet to be determined, we do know that sales of fish, in general, have soared during the pandemic.

There’s been a huge increase in fish and seafood sales at grocery stores in recent months, and according to a recent Bloomberg article, this could be because more people are cooking at home and experimenting with fish recipes in their own kitchens, rather than dining on seafood at restaurants.

With its new sandwich, perhaps Popeyes is capitalizing on Americans’ current fondness for all things fish (and the crispy fried coating doesn’t hurt, either!).

The Cajun Flounder Sandwich will be available at Popeyes restaurants and for delivery nationwide for $4.49 — a bit pricier than its $3.99 chicken counterpart — for a limited time beginning Thursday, Feb. 11. But if its anywhere near as successful as the Chicken Sandwich, the chain said it will consider making it a permanent menu addition.