05/30/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Fast Food Chains Thrive On Imitation

IN the fast-food business, imitation isn't just a form of flattery -- it's a proven way to increase sales.

The Taco Bell value menu, for instance, gave rise to the Wendy's Super Value Menu, the McDonald's Dollar Menu and the Burger King Value Menu. The Angus beef burger from Back Yard Burgers begat similar burgers at McDonald's, Burger King and Hardee's.

In the latest appropriation of a popular product, McDonald's has just introduced a Southern Style Chicken Sandwich -- one that looked suspiciously like the signature sandwich of the Chick-fil-A chain.

"We knew this was coming," said Don Perry, a Chick-fil-A spokesman.

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