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KFC_Smashd_Potato_Bowls_with_Nuggets.jpg Photo courtesy of KFC
KFC's Smash'd Potato Bowls are now available nationwide.

KFC debuts Smash’d Potato Bowls, $20 combo meal

KFC’s Smash’d Potato Bowls are part of the chain’s continued focus on boneless, portable offerings to attract younger customers.

KFC has introduced Smash’ed Potato Bowls, filled with mashed potatoes and topped with Secret Recipe fries, cheese sauce, bacon crumbles and a three-cheese blend. The bowls are now available nationwide for $3.49. They can also be topped with five of KFC’s chicken nuggets for $2 more.

"Now you can smash your hunger with our new Smash'd Potato Bowls, which take comfort to an 11 with a unique twist on all your favorite KFC flavors smashed together. If you like our Famous Bowls, you're going to love this new bowl," CMO Nick Chavez said in a statement. "At just $3.49, it's a comforting meal deal.”

The nationwide debut of the bowls comes after a successful test run in Pittsburgh in 2023. KFC first added its Famous Bowls in 2006 and, in 2019, added Mac & Cheese Bowls. The bowls are part of the chain’s strategy to attract younger consumers by adding more boneless, to-go offerings. During an interview late last year, Chavez said bowls, sandwiches and wraps are driving a higher mix among younger and more diverse customers and such options are the company’s “main priority right now.”

“Leveraging modern meat blocks in more modern formats is attracting new customers and that even extends to our bowl business,” he said. “Bowls are becoming a bigger part of the conversation.”

Bowls have also allowed the company to offer value without deep discounting its core products, as David Gibbs, CEO of parent company Yum Brands, noted last year on a call to analysts.

KFC is also targeting value-seeking consumers with a new $20 Taste of KFC meal, now available nationwide. The meal includes six pieces of KFC Original Recipe chicken and the choice of four sides for $20. The meal was initially tested in November in the Austin and Waco, Texas, markets.

“We’re working hard … providing exceptional value every day while innovating to attract newer, younger customers over time,” Chavez said. “At the same time, we certainly don’t want to walk away from our existing customers in any way, shape or form. Our existing base is a little older, tends to be a little bit lower income, and we want them to keep coming back. To do so, we need to provide them with exceptional value.”

Chavez said the $20 Fill Up Box, introduced in 2022, has been “very successful” for the brand and the Taste of KFC test was “off to an explosive start.”

During the ICR Conference in Orlando earlier this month, Fitch Ratings senior director Bill Sensmore and David Silverman said consumers will be much more value conscious this year than they’ve been in the past few years.

“It’s been a surprise how healthy the consumer has remained over the last several years given all the volatility. We’re thinking the tailwinds the consumer has enjoyed are dissipating and there are rising headwinds – rising debt levels, reduced savings, a compound impact of inflation … While we think the consumer fundamentally is healthy, we think they’re softening,” Silverman said. “We will see a greater quest for value.”

Contact Alicia Kelso at [email protected]

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