The Brand Honors Half a Century by Gifting Fans with Exclusive Signature Chicken Promotion, the Return of Cajun Rice, and a Video Showcasing 50 Years of Love Lessons
Y’all, Popeyes® just turned 50! That’s a lot of LOVE and a lot of signature chicken. The beloved southern brand was founded in 1972 by Al Copeland in New Orleans, and since its doors opened on June 12th, the brand has offered guests fried chicken and southern sides that mimic the delicious homemade food you would find walking into any kitchen in the south. Its Louisiana roots and bold Cajun flavors and seasonings have allowed the brand to stand out with fans against the competition for decades. Popeyes will celebrate its golden anniversary by giving its customers a promotion that pays homage to the signature chicken recipe that kicked off its legacy of chicken mastery 50 years ago: five pieces of golden, crispy hand battered and hand breaded chicken for just $6.99*.
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Popeyes® Celebrates 50 Years of Loving that Chicken (Photo: Business Wire)
“At Popeyes, we believe when guests bite into our crunchy signature chicken, they are automatically transported back to the original kitchen in the New Orleans suburb of Arabi. Year after year, Popeyes dedicated itself to ensuring the love, time, and traditions that went into making its fried chicken in 1972 remain the same today. We have stayed constant in our craft of making great chicken by marinating for 12 hours and hand battering and hand breading our signature chicken in our kitchens around the world. This love of the food is what has given Popeyes fried chicken its signature crunch for 50 years,” said Amy Alarcon, Vice President of Culinary Innovation.
But Popeyes fried chicken has not been the only menu item that swept brand champions off their feet in 1972. Cajun Rice (formerly known as Rice Dressing) became a favorite among customers. With its flavorful Cajun and creole seasonings mixed together from a range of bold ingredients, including bell pepper, onion, garlic, celery and cayenne, Cajun Rice delivers a side dish unlike anything offered in the quick service restaurant industry. And while Popeyes discontinued the favorite menu item in 2021, the brand recognized the flurry of emotions it caused among disheartened fans. In fact, since being removed from the menu, thousands of customers have tweeted about wanting the side dish back. The brand knew it had to give their dedicated fans what they want and is doing so in celebration of 50 years. Starting today, Cajun Rice will return to menus across the country for a limited time only.
The 50th celebrations don’t stop with just exclusive promotions either, because 50 years really does take a lot of dedication, hard work, patience, and in the end, love. So much so, according to one study by the Census Bureau**, only six percent of married couples make it to their 50th anniversary. In honor of this massive anniversary, Popeyes invited 5 couples who also committed to love in 1972, to surprise their partners with a love letter and discuss their recipe for 50 years of love in a new video, which can be viewed here.
Oftentimes 50th anniversaries are celebrated in local publications as the milestone and couple’s love story is shared within their community. Popeyes is taking this tradition and elevating it to a grander stage as they look to shine the spotlight on couples who have stood the test of time in a timeless publication such as The New York Times. Starting today, Popeyes invites couples, or their family members and friends, to nominate their love story by emailing email@example.com. Popeyes will pick the most heartwarming stories to be featured in the iconic paper as part of a Popeyes ad***.
While Popeyes is celebrating 50 years of history and accomplishments today, it's also a time to reflect on the pivotal moment in the brand’s history when Restaurant Brands International (RBI) acquired Popeyes in 2017. Just as so many have come to love Popeyes for its unique flavor profile, chicken mastery and southern Louisiana roots, RBI took note of the special brand as well. While Popeyes remained a relatively beloved regional southern brand, after RBI’s acquisition it saw new growth and profitability opportunities. Within just five years, Popeyes grew from $3 billion in global system-wide sales to $5 billion.
“Popeyes has been on an incredible growth trajectory over the past few years and we’re just getting started,” said Sami Siddiqui, President of Popeyes. “At the core of this growth story is a rich brand heritage built on chicken mastery and consistently high-quality menu items for our fans. When RBI acquired Popeyes just five years ago, we knew there was incredible potential to wow the world and reset standards for what southern food, fried chicken and hospitality should be. The launch of our Chicken Sandwich in 2019 proved just that, and as the President of this beloved brand, I take great pride in introducing Popeyes and our food to more and more people each day.”
The brand values, traditions and recipes have stood the test of time, and as a result, Popeyes continues to expand its footprint with a total of 3,700+ locations globally. Since RBI’s acquisition, Popeyes has grown by 1,000 restaurants globally and have stated they expect to open more than 200 restaurants in 2022 across the US & Canada. Earlier, the brand announced expansion into new markets like South Korea, France, India, and Romania adding to existing international markets with room for expansion including China, United Kingdom, Spain, Brazil, Philippines, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Switzerland, and Sri Lanka.
For more information about Popeyes 50th celebration, head to popeyes.com.
* Limited time at part US rest. Valid only on popeyes.com or in the app. Not valid on delivery. Additional terms apply: popeyes.com/offer-terms.
**2011 Census Bureau study
*** US only. Terms apply. Details at popeyes.com/offer-terms
Founded in New Orleans in 1972, POPEYES® has 50 years of history and culinary tradition. POPEYES® distinguishes itself with a unique New Orleans style menu featuring fried chicken, chicken tenders, fried shrimp, and other regional items. The chain’s passion for its Louisiana heritage and flavorful authentic food has allowed POPEYES® to become one of the world’s largest chicken quick service restaurants with over 3,500 restaurants in the U.S. and around the world. To learn more about the brand, please visit the Popeyes® brand website at www.popeyes.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Alison Brod Marketing + Communications