KFC launches pulled chicken to exploit ‘fashionable’ street food trend

KFC is looking to steal a share of the £68.4m BBQ style food market in the UK with the launch of a pulled chicken range it claims is the “biggest overhaul” to its menu in 20 years.

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KFC is bringing high street food into stores with the launch of its pulled chicken range.

The overhaul stems from the slow-cooked way the chicken is prepared and includes the Ultimate Burger, Twister Wrap and lower calorie Lil’ Wrap. It goes on sale today (1 September) and will be marketed as a blend of (60 per cent) white breast and (40 per cent) dark meat, which have been marinated in a molasses-based sauce and slow cooked for almost two hours.

KFC has created the products to try and exploit the growing popularity of street food and contemporary American inspired cuisine in the UK. The trend has impacted sales in the fast food sector, pulling consumers into smaller, premium chains such as Bodeans and Byron Burger.

American Style BBQ food restaurants’ sales have jumped by 35 per cent in the UK since 2010, according to Kantar. London alone, has seen a 40 per cent increase in American themed eateries opening on its streets since 2012, KFC adds citing numbers from global food trends and ideas agency TheeFoodPeople not seen by Marketing Week.

Louise Direito, innovation manager at KFC, says the launch reflects where the UK food scene is right now.

“If pulled pork was the dish of 2014, then 2015 will become the year of pulled chicken”, adds Direito. “Influenced heavily by both our Kentucky heritage as well as the UK street food scene, the new range is a labour of love for us. We have been working tireless for the past 18 months to improve the variety of our menu and are delighted that we can now provide our customers with something completely unique to KFC.”

A campaign will support the range.

The launch follows wholesale changes to KFC’s marketing in the UK following the appointment vice president for marketing in the UK and Ireland David Timm last September. Ads are being created to be more emotive and less product-focused in a bid to foster stronger brand loyalty across the region. 

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