Taste Test: Chick-fil-A vs. Sam’s Club Copycat Nuggets
Sam’s Club is building off the success of Chick-fil-A nuggets with its own copycat product. The warehouse chain now sells a 3-pound bag of Member’s Mark Southern Style Chicken Bites, made with white-meat chicken with a light breading and a hint of dill. On the Sam’s Club website, customers claim the product tastes identical to Chick-fil-A, so we put the two brands to the test — and dipped them both in Chick-fil-A Sauce, a delicious blend of honey mustard, barbecue, and ranch.
And... there was no clear winner! At the end of our sampling, our team was divided.
Some preferred Chick-fil-A’s variety because the chicken was soft, although a bit dry, and the breading was nice and crisp. The chicken itself also tasted better and had less fat. Despite the higher-quality chicken of Chick-fil-A, the Sam’s nuggets were noticeably juicier and had a better meat-to-breading ratio. However, the breading wasn’t crisp, and it tasted too strongly of dill. Chick-fil-A’s nuggets are brined with the herb too, but we couldn’t really taste it. Half of us wholeheartedly appreciated the pickle flavor, and the other half did not.
"The Sam's Club, for me, had two strikes against it: an overwhelming amount of dill — a spice I love in a pickle but not with my chicken — and a chewy texture," one taster said. Meanwhile, others praised the herbaceous flavor of the Sam's nuggets.
Full disclosure: There were a couple variables that could have altered our final opinions. The Sam’s Club variety was microwaved because The Daily Meal does not have a kitchen facility on-site, while the Chick-fil-A nuggets were fried at a restaurant nearby. That being said, our Postmates delivery was an hour late, and the order was cold when we finally got it. Both of these factors could have compromised the texture and taste of these products.
Both nuggets had their pros and cons, but they aren’t that different from one another. We liked Chick-fil-A’s taste and breading the most, and texture of the actual chicken in Sam’s Club’s. If they were somehow mashed together, they’d make the perfect lovechild.
Those interested in conducting their own taste test can head to the frozen section of Sam’s or order Southern Style Chicken Bites online for pickup for $9.98 per 3-pound bag. And you can follow this link to find a Chick-fil-A near you. Happy eating! For more on the beloved fast food chain that has urged fans to "eat mor chik’n" since 1995, check out these 10 things you didn’t know about Chick-fil-A.
Member’s Mark Southern Style Chicken Bites were provided for review at no cost to the writer.