Once a legitimate battle between fast food chains to offer the best chicken sandwich, the "Chicken Sandwich Wars" have devolved into an open-ended marketing opportunity for anyone looking to co-opt America's fried chicken fervor — whether it's Pringles releasing Wendy's Spicy Chicken Sandwich potato chips (that's a chip!) or Taco Bell releasing a Crispy Chicken Sandwich Taco (that's a taco!).
Yesterday, the beloved candy brand Airheads announced that they too would be entering the Chicken Sandwich Wars — and in their defense, the results were a visually stunning legitimate chicken sandwich. Just one problem: The limited-release item was only available at one single restaurant for a mere three hours — the wartime equivalent of firing your gun in the air and then running for cover. But oh what a glorious shot it was!
Launched yesterday in honor of National Fried Chicken Day, Airheads openly admitted that in their 36-year history, the brand had never made anything other than candy and certainly had never tried to make a chicken sandwich. "So what? Before the moon landing, there was no moon landing. It was the first time anybody ever landed on it," Craig Cuchra, VP of Marketing for Perfetti Van Melle North America, stated (putting his job on the line, I guess). "So there's some precedent of people not ever doing something before and then suddenly doing the thing they never did."
In most ways, the results were your typical chicken sandwich, featuring fried chicken, coleslaw, spicy mayo, and pickles. But the bun was the showstopper: made entirely from Airheads Xtremes Belts that had been "fused and latticed" together.
Airheads billed it as the perfect blend of sweet and savory, but getting your hands on one was virtually impossible: The sandwich was only being served at Frances' Deli & Brunchery in Chicago exclusively for dine-in from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. while supplies lasted.
So, will the Airheads Chicken Sandwich ever return? "If we've done anything by creating a chicken sandwich with a candy bun, we've proven anything is possible," a representative from Airheads told me via email. However, your best bet for trying one might be to make it yourself at home. "[We have] no plans to sell this special Airheads bun," the rep continued, "but people are welcome to use their own stash of Airheads candy to create their own chicken sandy."