Wendy’s Jalapeno Popper Chicken menu is popper perfection

Wendy's Jalapeno Chicken offerings, photo provided by Wendy's
Wendy's Jalapeno Chicken offerings, photo provided by Wendy's /

In another Made to Crave innovation, the new Wendy’s Jalapeno Popper Chicken Sandwich and Salad looks to disrupt the quick service restaurant landscape in way that only Wendy’s can. While each bite has all the flavors of that classic bar and grill appetizer, the two new menu items are more than just a bite full of heat. If you are prepared for a flavor that will surprise and delight, these two new food menu additions are a must order.

Following the successful Pretzel Bacon Pub menu, the Jalapeno Popper Chicken Sandwich and Salad each have layers of flavors in each bite. Even though food trends show consumers craving spicy food, this Made to Crave menu addition isn’t just about extreme heat with no purpose. The flavors are bold yet fully balanced.

While much will be said about the newest addition to the chicken sandwich wars, these new Wendy’s menu offerings do more than just add to the plethora of quick service restaurant choices. As the originator of the spicy chicken, Wendy’s looks to bring innovation by transforming a favorite bar and grill appetizer flavor in its own way.

Does Wendy’s Jalapeno Popper Chicken menu come with a popper promise?

Recently, John Li, Vice President of Culinary Innovation for The Wendy’s Company, hosted a roundtable event and gave some insight about the new menu offerings. In addition, guests were given an opportunity to sample the Wendy’s Jalapeno Popper Chicken menu.

Li shared that the classic jalapeno popper appetizer inspired the flavors of the new food items but the Wendy’s team sought to answer a specific question. Why can’t people enjoy the flavors of that classic bar and grill appetizer every day? Although eating a plate of jalapeno poppers may not be a meal, a chicken sandwich or salad featuring those flavors could be that next made to crave food that keeps people coming back for more.

Since the jalapeno popper has such a specific flavor, both the jalapeno popper sandwich and salad has to deliver those flavors. From that creamy cheesy goodness to that overall umami, each bite needs to trigger that flavor association.

Although the consumer is just going to take a big bite and smile, the Wendy’s culinary team is thoughtful with the food concept and construction. It is one of the reasons why six jalapenos are on each sandwich. That number ensures that there is that jalapeno flavor in each bite. Whether or not guests open the bun to count remains to be seen.

While most people will focus on the chicken sandwich, the salad offering excels in that concept of surprising and delighting guests. In a more deconstructed way, it hits all those classic jalapeno popper flavors.

The mixed greens are topped with jack cheese, pickled jalapenos, spicy chicken and cheddar jalapeno croutons. The croutons mimic the cheese flavors in the sandwich but add another texture to the salad. Each one is like a little treat.

The true star of the salad is the jalapeno ranch dressing. The jalapeno puree with the creamy ranch could make anyone eat more greens. You might want to ask for a second dressing packet. It is really that good.

By offering a salad on the Jalapeno Popper Chicken menu, Wendy’s proves that takes its job of  food done right seriously. Although other quick service restaurants have abandoned the salad, Wendy’s is looking to elevate it.

In some ways, the creativity and thought in creating this menu item proves that a salad can be made to crave. More importantly, it is a salad at an affordable price point which gives guests options.

While one day a guest might want a bigger choice from the Made to Crave menu, the next order might be a classic menu item. No matter the choice, with each option Wendy’s seeks to always give the guest a food experience that is better. Just ok, is not part of the Wendy’s vocabulary.

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The Wendy’s Jalapeno Popper Chicken Sandwich has a suggested menu price of $5.99 and the Wendy’s Jalapeno Popper Chicken Salad has a suggested menu price of $6.79.

Wendy’s just innovated a classic pub appetizer with these two new menu offerings. What could be the next food twist added to the Made to Crave menu?