Popeyes releases Cajun Flounder Sandwich, its first fish sandwich ever

Rooster detail in the interior of a Popeyes location in China [image provided by Popeyes]
Photo: Popeyes

We’re sure we don’t need to tell you just what an impact the Popeyes Chicken Sandwich has had on the fast food landscape, and the world at large, since its nationwide release in August 2019. It rocked the culture, shot Popeyes sales upward by 40%, inspired numerous fast food knockoffs, and even inspired us to turn fried chicken into a Mardi Gras feast. But has Popeyes rested upon its laurels? Oh, no. The chain has quietly kept innovating, tinkering away in test markets, and now, it has tossed its hat into an entirely new ring: the Cajun Flounder Sandwich debuts tomorrow, February 11. It’s the first fish sandwich Popeyes has ever undertaken.

Product shot of Popeyes Cajun Flounder Sandwich [image provided by Popeyes]
Image: Popeyes

We’ll let the press release take it from here, because there’s no way we’d make it sound this poetically delicious:

Caught in the icy waters of the Pacific, Popeyes flounder is light and flakey and seasoned in a blend of the Louisiana-rooted brand’s Cajun mild and spicy seasoning. With only four simple ingredients combined to perfection, the fried filet is served atop the same buttery toasted brioche bun with barrel cured pickles that fans know and love from the Chicken Sandwich, along with Popeyes legacy tartar sauce.

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The buns, pickles, and tartar sauce were already sitting around at every Popeyes location, so the decision to tie it all together with a fish filet seems to make perfect sense—a masterclass in efficiency and menu streamlining, no?

Popeyes’ press release is full of sensory details, promising a sandwich that “delivers the flavor and crunch one would expect to find at a local dockside fish shack” and boldly proclaiming that it is “sure to reset industry standards” of quick service seafood. The Cajun Flounder Sandwich will be available nationwide tomorrow (both in store and for delivery) at a price of $4.49.

Consider our interest piqued. Because the chain could have easily spent the next several years releasing slightly upgraded versions of its chicken sandwich, the fact that Popeyes is now pivoting to fishier fare is an interesting decision, and one that it presumably wouldn’t have made if not for confidence in the product. Will fish sandwiches become the new chicken sandwiches? Will every other major fast food chain be scrambling to source cod and pollock? Will we see the triumphant resurgence of Long John Silver’s?

More on this story as it develops. In the meantime, you can’t go wrong with Captain D’s.

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Marnie Shure is editor in chief of The Takeout.

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DISCUSSION

Were that many people standing outside of Popeye’s and thinking they wanted fish?