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Popeyes Lousiana Chicken sign and a Chick-fil-A sandwich. Photos: Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket/Ted Soqui/Corbis via Getty Images

The battle over who has the best chicken sandwich that has become a viral internet sensation boils down to a change in consumer eating habits. It's the result of the one constant in the post-financial crisis world: cash-strapped and overburdened people looking to save money.

The big picture: "To understand what’s going on with Popeyes you have to first understand what’s going on with chicken," Claire Suddath writes for Bloomberg Businessweek.

  • "[T]he average American eats about 10 pounds more chicken than they did a decade ago. This poultry boon has helped revitalize KFC and turn Chick-fil-A into the third-largest restaurant chain in the U.S., behind only McDonald’s and Starbucks," per Suddath.
  • "Last year the average Chick-fil-A restaurant brought in about $4.6 million, more than three times that of the average KFC," she adds.

How we got here: Popeyes "has been doing fine in recent years, but Chick-fil-A was beating it at its own game. What did its competition primarily sell? Fried chicken sandwiches. Popeyes needed a sandwich. And it needed a fight," Suddath writes.

  • "The Popeyes sandwich soft-launched in select locations months ago. It had a brioche bun, a thick layer of pickles, and it came with either mayonnaise or a spicy Cajun sauce. Early customers often tweeted how much better it was than Chick-fil-A," Suddath adds.

From there, social media took over and the rest, as they say, is history.

Go deeper

GOP research firm aims to hobble Biden nominees

Alejandro Mayorkas. Photo: Joshua Roberts/AFP via Getty Images

The Republican-aligned opposition research group America Rising is doing all it can to prevent President Biden from seating his top Cabinet picks.

Why it matters: After former President Trump inhibited the transition, Biden is hoping the Republican minority in Congress will cooperate with getting his team in place. Biden hadn't even been sworn in when America Rising began blasting opposition research to reporters targeting Janet Yellen and Alejandro Mayorkas.

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Why it matters: Conferences with the press secretary in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room became almost non-existent under the Trump administration. By sending Psaki to the podium hours after President Biden took the oath of office, the White House signaled a return to pre-Trump norms.

Avril Haines confirmed as director of national intelligence

Haines. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Image

Avril Haines was quickly confirmed by the Senate on Wednesday as the director of national intelligence (DNI) in a vote of 84-10.

Why it matters: Haines is the first of President Biden's nominees to receive a full Senate confirmation and she will be the first woman to serve as DNI. She's previously served as CIA deputy director from 2013 to 2015 and deputy national security adviser from 2015 to 2017.