Last year’s chicken sandwich wars launched Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen to a new level of growth that even a pandemic couldn’t stifle. Now, the fast-food chain is revealing a brand refresh to go with its newfound celebrity status.
The updated look features a simplified, more mature version of the classic logo, which has only seen minor tweaks since Popeyes was founded in 1972. The logo itself is all one color—which the brand is calling “unapologetically orange”—and has a more uniform typeface that works better on digital platforms.
At the time of last year’s viral product launch, the brand was already working on growing its global presence. It’s expanded to Brazil, Spain and other markets over the last 18 months and just two weeks ago, Popeyes opened the doors to its first location in China.
“When we think about this global expansion, it was part of the work to take a look at how we look as a brand,” said Rapha Abreu, vp and global head of design at Popeyes’ parent company, Restaurant Brands International.
Working alongside design firm Jones Knowles Ritchie, Abreu said, “We started to take a look closely in all the elements that we have in our identity to make sure that it’s aligned with our Louisiana roots, and also with our values and personalities.”
The restaurants themselves will also getting an update. The first remodeled Popeyes recently opened in Marrero, La., just outside the company’s hometown of New Orleans. While the pandemic has slowed down some of those construction efforts, Abreu said that work will ramp up in the later half of this year and throughout 2021.
The Shanghai restaurant also has a fresh look, as well as a more upscale vibe than those in the U.S. It’s decorated with a wider palette meant to invoke the colorful architecture of New Orleans, while also appealing more closely to local preferences.
If some of the graphics look familiar, that’s because they are. The packaging and promotion surrounding the Popeyes Chicken Sandwich already included the updated branding, and the chain has been introducing different elements into its marketing ever since.
While the chicken sandwich craze led Popeyes to an astronomical 37.9% sales growth in Q4 last year, the restaurant chain also posted 29.2% sales growth in the first quarter of this year despite the pandemic.