3 Top Flavor Trends Drive Fried Chicken Sales

Photograph: Shutterstock

Fried chicken is a standby for foodservice providers across markets—but convenience-store retailers in particular can take advantage of trending flavors that drive hungry customers to their stores.

Compared to earlier in the pandemic, the outlook for c-store foodservice is seeing improvements: More customers are paying for their fuel in-store, and more consumers are purchasing prepared foods, with Technomic’s Q3 2020 C-Store Consumer MarketBrief reporting that 66% of consumers are purchasing items from c-store foodservice at least once per week.

This gives retailers all the more reason to compete for consumers’ dollars—and the sauces c-stores pair with their fried chicken offerings play a big role in differentiating one retailer from another. Consumers love to customize their orders with the perfect sauce for their specific tastes and cravings, and Technomic’s 2020 Fried Chicken Menu Trends report provides insight into which flavors they’re reaching for most often:

  • Barbecue sauce is the fastest-growing sauce paired with fried chicken in the South, and it’s among the fastest growing sauces in the West and Northeast as well. This continued growth speaks volumes, especially given that barbecue is already a well-loved condiment, with over 28% menu penetration as a fried-chicken pairing.
  • Honey mustard is another crowd-pleaser, with over 27% menu penetration. Sweet flavors are among the top five flavor profiles paired with chicken, and honey mustard is a major multitasker fit for any fried-chicken dish—from chicken sandwiches, to tenders, to salads and more.
  • Buffalo sauce is a must-have with over 32% menu penetration, and it’s equally as craveable spread on a sandwich as it is served as a dip for wings and tenders. A spicier option, such as Chester’s Buffalo Hot Sauce made with piquant cayenne pepper, is a good choice; spicy flavor profiles are the No. 1 for pairing with fried chicken.

Chester’s, a leading fried chicken brand among c-stores and other retailers, has developed a new line of sauces in fan-favorite flavors including barbecue, honey mustard, Buffalo, ranch and Chester’s Signature Sauce. Chester’s sauces are also great for pairing with offerings across the menu, not just chicken—dippable sides such as potato wedges are the perfect match. By offering Chester’s top-quality, fresh-made fried chicken with consumers’ favorite sauce varieties, c-stores set themselves up to keep customers coming back for more.

Chester’s recent branding refresh this year included the introduction of new sauces, new packaging, a new fried chicken sandwich and more—giving retailers all the more reason to invest in the top-quality QSR to boost foodservice sales. To learn more about new developments from Chester’s, visit

This post is sponsored by Chester’s Chicken


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