Friday, May 8, 2009


Chicken for you! And you! And you! And you!!!!


Okay. So Everyone is talking about this KFC thing with Oprah.

NPR article here

And really it is worth noting. I mean, this is what happens when powerful forces collide and you have unexpected demand (that should have been expected). But not many are actually taking a look at what this means for KFC's future long term.

AdAge does a great job of describing the problem, and maybe some of the short-term fall out. It's really worth reading.

Ultimately, though, I don't think this one snafu is going to crumble KFC's chances of turning around their brand and sales.

In my humble opinion, Kentucky Grilled Chicken is not going to do it. But it sure will help. Some people have said KFC should own its unhealthiness, and be a guilty indulgence. Well, at some point that brand positioning gets a little tired if EVERYONE is doing it, and also, there are cheaper unhealthy indulgences, and I just don't think KFC can drop their prices much more and remain competitive, which means they will have to reduce food quality or portions (which last time I went to KFC was already suffering) and thus lose the enjoyment of indulging.

I see KFC's real hope, especially in this "downturn" economy, in reinforcing their family-friendliness. Convince me that I can feed my family well, without breaking the bank too much, at KFC. Even in a recession, people still want to order out, whether it's because they are tired or they want to celebrate a little or let loose.

The thing is, who wants to order toxic, fat-laden chicken and reconstituted potatoes to their family?

So I agree that grilled is a step in the right direction, but, I need to know that if order from KFC (and I will probably want to get some fried chicken, because, well, now that you mention it, it does sound kind of yummy) I can get some food that is FRESH.

Cut back on cheese covered and let me know that I can get some fresh yummy veggies or yams or red potatoes (with the skin) with that. Let me know that I can get some rolls that are whole grain (where butter and milk are not the two main ingredients) and maybe something with fresh (unglazed) berries for dessert.

KFC is about the fried chicken, and if it tastes as good as it did when I was kid, then it is pretty-darned good, but as a more health-conscious human being, I need to know that if I get a whole meal from KFC, it won't be all bad for me. I am willing to accept a little fried, if I know the meal as a whole is fresh and wholesome and shows some color and life on my plate (and those sad-looking brown green beans aren't going to cut it).

I remember when I went to this amazing Southern BBQ place in SF. I knew most of it was not super-healthy (much as I tried to convince myself by ordering the delicious mustard greens), but at least I knew that everything I ate was made that day and was made with good ingredients.

Right now, everything from KFC has that fresh-from-the-microwave aroma and that genuine, 5-gallon bucket stirred goodness.


Billy Reano said...

good analysis of KFC. I had a chicken meal there on a hot day and the mealtime was such a horrible experience that I havent been back.

It's still hard for me to eat hot chicken on a super hot day.

WhiteEyebrows said...

This is one thing I LOVE about dallas... while we have our share of chains, there is a PLETHORA of amazing restaurants here - in all price ranges. After all what is one to do in Dallas? Answer-- eat and shop... and we do both well!

Natalia said...

I think the only thing that can really "save" fast food chains right now is having a value menu. There is nothing like saying something only costs a dollar to get customers in the door. And in this economy, people are looking to "save" on their fast food. I hear that even Starbucks is getting in on the action by creating a less expensive menu.