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Burger King and Wendy’s both just debuted new Italian-style sandwiches as the chicken sandwiches wars heat back up. Here’s how they compare.

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Wendy's vs Burger King Italian chicken sandwichThe chicken sandwich wars are heating back up with Wendy’s vs. Burger King.

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

  • Wendy’s and Burger King released similar Italian-style chicken sandwiches at the same time.
  • Both brands are taking advantage of decreased chicken prices and working with popular flavors, an analyst told Insider.
  • The Wendy’s sandwich sounded good but had poor execution, but Burger King’s was delicious.
After two years of high poultry prices, chicken is once again affordable — prompting the fast-food chicken sandwich wars to rev back up.AP930717488316Burger King France

AP

Source: Insider

Along with a whole slate of new chicken items across fast food companies, Burger King and Wendy’s are both selling Italian-inspired chicken sandwiches.Wendy's breakfastWendy’s entrance.

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

It’s not very surprising that the competing burger chains would roll out such similar items right now, CEO and president of Kalinowski Equity Associates Mark Kalinowski told Insider.BK_Rebrand_Stills_Signage_1Burger King rebrand.

Burger King

Kalinowski said Italian flavors are “widely popular” with broad appeal, and the two biggest casual dining chains, Applebee’s and Olive Garden, both serve plenty of Italian food.olive gardenPatrons enter an Olive Garden Restaurant.

Steve Helber/AP Photo

Chains usually have a good idea of what items their competitors are testing, so that may have spurred one of them to speed up the rollout to put the items head to head, according to Kalinowski.a wendy's signWendy’s sign.

Dan Tian/Xinhua/Getty Images

I tried both to see how they compare.Burger King Italian Royal Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

First, I went to Burger King for the Italian Royal Crispy Chicken Sandwich.Burger King Italian Royal Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

The sandwich comes on a shiny potato bun.Burger King Italian Royal Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

It includes a chicken breast, marinara sauce, and a few slices of mozzarella.Burger King Italian Royal Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

Burger King does chicken sandwiches really well, and this was no exception.Burger King Italian Royal Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

The chicken was juicy, with crispy breading, and the amount of cheese felt generous.Burger King Italian Royal Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

There was just enough marinara sauce to get the taste in every bite without becoming messy or making the sandwich soggy.Burger King Italian Royal Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

It’s simple, with just three ingredients between the buns, but it works really well.Burger King Italian Royal Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

I’d eat it again for sure.Burger King Italian Royal Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

I paid $10.09 for a meal with fries and a drink, but the sandwich sells by itself for $5.89 in Rochester, New York.Burger King Italian Royal Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

Next I tried the Italian Mozzarella Chicken Sandwich from Wendy’s.Wendy's Italian Mozzarella Chicken

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

It’s similar to the Burger King sandwich, with a breaded chicken breast, marinara sauce, asiago cheese, and what Wendy’s calls “Ooey-gooey fried mozzarella cheese.”Wendy's Italian Mozzarella Chicken

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

That’s all served on a garlic knot bun.Wendy's Italian Mozzarella Chicken

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

I was really excited to try this sandwich when Wendy’s announced it.Wendy's Italian Mozzarella Chicken

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

The fried mozzarella is essentially like adding a mozzarella stick to a chicken sandwich, which sounded like a great combination to me.Wendy's Italian Mozzarella Chicken

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

Unfortunately, it was a major disappointment.Wendy's Italian Mozzarella Chicken

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

It sounds like a good idea, but the sandwich was just too dry and had far too much bread compared to anything else.Wendy's Italian Mozzarella Chicken

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

Between the bun, the breaded chicken, and the breading on the mozzarella, it was too much.Wendy's Italian Mozzarella Chicken

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

Maybe more sauce and cheese would have helped.Wendy's Italian Mozzarella Chicken

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

Wendy’s take on the sandwich was considerably more expensive, at $7.99, and I wouldn’t order it again.Wendy's Italian Mozzarella Chicken

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

As fast food chains continue to invest in chicken sandwich deals and prices stay low, it’s possible there will be more experimentation with chicken dishes on menus in 2023.Wendy's chicken sandwichWendy’s chicken sandwich

Chicago Tribune / Contributor

Do you have a story to share about a retail or restaurant chain? Email this reporter at mmeisenzahl@businessinsider.com.

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