Fried chicken is one of the go-to items when pulling up to fast food spots. Many of today's more popular chains, including Popeyes, Raising Cane's, and Chick-fil-A, have built their empires upon its crispy goodness.
When it comes to which is the best, we've already got a ranking. In terms of what the country thinks, however, there is some new data that shows which chains are the most popular by state.
This data set comes courtesy of agency TOP Data, which looked at GPS tracking and spending data at the seven largest fried chicken chains across the country. Data does include what consumers purchased during the ongoing pandemic, which also indicates that fried chicken had the lowest drop of any category in an industry that's taken a massive hit.
TOP Data did not look at data from Alaska or Hawaii, though, but across the contiguous states, KFC reigned supreme, being the most popular in 14 different states. Raising Cane's and Church's Chicken followed at 9 states apiece, Zaxby's took home 7 states, and Popeye's was the favorite in 6. Regional favorite Bojangles also netted three states in the counting.
While Chick-fil-A's data was evaluated, and it does show up in the top five for many states, it was not the most popular chain in any single state. Chick-fil-A actually never finished higher than third overall in a single state, signifying a possible shift away from the chain in recent months.
You can view the full rankings for each state in the data set below, as well as additional info in TOP Data's full report.