Development of the sandwich began in 2001 in response to several major factors.   After an overall sales decline of 17% coupled with a profit decline of 29%, Burger King held a series of consumer tests that showed the company's customer base was looking for a wider variety of options when making purchases.   Additional survey results revealed that a lack of newer products was discouraging consumers from visiting the chain.  Furthermore, the company was seeking to counter the threat to its sales by newer fast casual restaurants that had begun to bite into sales.  By July 2002, the chain had sold nearly fifty million of the sandwiches, eventually displacing the BK Broiler's initial launch figures as the company's best selling product introduction.   The successful introduction of the Chicken Whopper was one of the few noted positive highlights of the company during negotiations for the sale of Burger King by its then owner Diageo to a group of investors led by the TPG Capital ; Chicago-based consulting firm Technomic Inc. President Ron Paul was quoted that he was encouraged by recent product changes at Burger King such as the new Chicken Whopper, but he said it was too early to tell whether the changes have been successful.  Despite the Chicken Whopper's initial success, just over a year after the its introduction, enthusiasm for the product was waning; Burger King's largest franchisee, Carrols Corporation , was complaining that the product line was a failure, describing the sandwich as a pedestrian product with a great name.