Pei Wei, PF Chang’s quick-service younger brother, just launched a new menu item, and they’re not mincing words when it comes to the competition.
In an ad for Pei Wei’s $5 ‘Wei Better Orange Chicken,’ Tiger, the Pei Wei spokes-animal, tells his friend Panda that the new chicken tastes better because of how it’s made, calling out Panda (Express, clearly) for using frozen meat.
“Panda’s is made from frozen dark meat and Pei Wei’s is made with fresh, all house-cut white meat chicken breast, real orange slices, and it’s always served fresh, not sitting out,” the ad says.
According to a rep for Pei Wei, the restaurant uses fresh chicken and fresh steak for every rice and noodle bowl on their menu.
Pei Wei’s new orange chicken recipe (which replaced its Orange Peel dishes) uses fresh chicken battered in crispy tempura, cooked in an orange sauce and tossed with orange slices. It’s described as somewhat spicy, on the same level as Pei Wei’s Kung Pao and Sesame recipes.
This isn’t the first time fast food brands have taken shots at a competitor on social media (looking at you, Wendy’s). In response to the ad, Panda Express’ Executive Director of Creative and Digital Business Kevin Holmes said this:
“We are so humbled by the guest love for our Original Orange Chicken and would never have envisioned the magnitude of its popularity when it was created over 30 years ago. As the home of American Chinese food, Panda is happy that our Original Orange Chicken continues to inspire and bring happiness to our guests wherever they may be.”
It’s worth noting that while Pei Wei’s chicken does incorporate fresh oranges into its recipe, the meal will still get you sugar-wise. Pei Wei’s small Wei Better Orange Chicken has 43 grams of sugar; by comparison, a serving of Panda’s Orange Chicken has 19 grams (though that’s just for the chicken).
Pei Wei’s Wei Better Orange Chicken costs $5 for a small or regular size, which comes with rice.
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