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How McDonald’s new chicken breakfast sandwiches stack up to Chick-fil-A

Heidi Chung

It’s the battle for breakfast. Fast food heavyweights are still going head-to-head as they look to cash in on the day’s first meal. The latest menu innovation comes from burger giant McDonald’s (MCD), with the introduction of its McChicken Biscuit and Chicken McGriddle sandwiches. 

(Courtesy of McDonald's)

The two new breakfast sandwiches will be available for a limited time in participating stores across the U.S. 

“With the nationwide launch of the Chicken McGriddles and McChicken Biscuit sandwiches, we’re giving our customers more of what they crave: mouthwatering chicken and breakfast options,” McDonald’s Vice President of Menu Innovation Linda VanGosen said in a statement. “McDonald’s is committed to remaining a leader in the quick-service breakfast category through our delicious offerings, consistent menu innovation, and a faster drive-thru experience.”

Put to the test

But, how do these chicken sandwiches stack up to beloved rival Chick-fil-A?

At first glance, the McChicken Biscuit looks very similar to the Chick-fil-A Chicken Biscuit — but it “doesn’t taste exactly like it unfortunately,” Zack Guzman, host of Yahoo Finance’s YFi PM said. “I was looking forward to this all day long, and now I’m sad about it now.”

The chicken patty in the new sandwiches appears to be the same type of patty used in the McChicken sandwich. While both sandwiches were rather underwhelming, the Chicken McGriddle was the winner by a narrow margin. 

“This might be the lowest ranking that I’ve given on our food taste tests,” Guzman said. “This is a one out of five [stars].”

Competition in the fast food space is stiff, and companies like Wendy’s (WEN) trying to steal breakfast market share away from McDonald’s. While McDonald’s is the leader in the fast food breakfast category, it’s been a rough road.

“We’ve seen competitors ramp up their [breakfast] activity during this year as well actually. So having other entrants in next year will just ensure that market share fight remains as competitive as ever,” McDonald’s then CEO Steve Easterbrook said on the company’s earnings conference call Oct. 22. “We are encouraged this current quarter because breakfast has been a little behind the rest of the day’s performance until this quarter.”

McDonald’s is scheduled to report fourth-quarter financial results Wednesday before the market open.

Heidi Chung is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @heidi_chung.

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