Beginning August 2, McDonald’s — the nation’s leading seller of chicken sandwiches — will debut three new Premium Chicken Sandwiches in restaurants nationwide. The Classic, Ranch BLT, and Club join McDonald’s growing premium chicken portfolio, which includes Chicken Selects®, Chicken McNuggets®, and its Premium Salads.

The announcement coincides with the National Chicken Council’s (NCC) release Tuesday of consumer data that shows Americans are buying chicken more frequently and that a quarter of Americans buy chicken sandwiches at McDonald’s and other quick-service restaurants.

“Our menu, which was already 29 percent chicken-based, expands nationwide in August to welcome the Classic, Ranch BLT, and Club,” says Ubong Ituen, senior director of Menu Management, McDonald’s USA.

McDonald’s was responsible for 79 percent of the growth in the chicken strips category within the fast-food sector last year. In 2004, McDonald’s served more than 65 million pounds of Chicken Selects to customers nationwide.

The Premium Chicken Sandwiches were the creative brainchild of Executive Chef Dan Coudreaut, McDonald’s Corporation. “We wanted to create something that reflects consumers’ changing tastes, met their lifestyle needs, and was premium quality,” says Coudreaut.

Customers can choose either a grilled or crispy chicken breast for the three sandwiches that also use premium ingredients like fresh green leaf lettuce, all-natural Swiss cheese, and a honey wheat roll. Prices and participation varies by market and local owner/operator decision.

From August 11 to 14, McDonald’s will be handing out Premium Chicken Sandwich menus featuring three coupons (one for each sandwich) in participating restaurants nationwide while supplies last. The coupons offer a free medium drink and medium fry with the purchase of a Premium Chicken Sandwich. McDonald’s national advertising campaign launches August 2.

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