Fried chicken gets a sweet-savory hit

Lizzy Freier, Technomic Menu Analysis Managing Editor

honey chicken nuggets

Honey-drizzled fried chicken is popping up on a variety of concept's menus. These offerings bring together sweet and savory, the two most appealing and craveable of all basic flavors, according to Technomic’s Flavor Consumer Trend Report.

Honey is a way to differentiate the comfort food classic, lending a sweetness to savory fried chicken that standard pairings like gravy and Buffalo sauce lack. Here's a sampling of operations turning to honey to set their fried chicken apart.

Honey Butter Fried Chicken

honey butter fried chicken

Chicago restaurant Honey Butter Fried Chicken dedicates its entire concept to honey-topped fried chicken, offering such items as fried chicken and French toast—featuring bourbon maple syrup and honey butter—and a honey Buffalo sandwich made with fried chicken, blue cheese and honey Buffalo sauce. 

Shake Shack

shake shack honey chicken sandwich

Shake Shack is testing a Salt & Pepper Honey Chick’n sandwich at its three Brooklyn, N.Y., restaurants. Priced at $6.29, the sandwich features a buttermilk-marinated fried breast sprinkled with black pepper and salted honey. With this new offering, the chain hopes to capture success similar to what it’s seen with its Chick’n Shack sandwich that debuted earlier this year. 


biscuitville honey chicken sandwich

Biscuitville Fresh Southern’s Spicy Chicken and Honey Biscuit sandwich features a spicy fried breast fillet drizzled with honey. The chain focuses its promotion of the product on the locally produced honey used. The limited-time sandwich is now available in all 54 Biscuitville restaurants in North Carolina and Virginia for $3.49.


kfc honey chicken basket

KFC began testing Georgia Gold Honey Mustard BBQ chicken in Pittsburgh and Mobile, Ala., this summer. Hoping to recreate the success of Nashville Hot Chicken (which KFC describes as the most successful launch in the chain’s history), the regional classic features what KFC’s U.S. CMO Kevin Hochman describes as “grown-up honey mustard—sweet with attitude.” Honey mustard barbecue sauce and pickles top a selection of entrees, including crispy chicken, wings or tenders.

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