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KFC chicken nuggets Photo courtesy of KFC
KFC CMO Nick Chavez said his company has been "ceding nugget buyers to other brands for too long now and these nuggets will give us a way back to families, which is our imperative.”

KFC is finally introducing chicken nuggets nationally

KFC CMO Nick Chavez said the chain’s new chicken nuggets generated over 10% of the sales mix during their test run.

KFC has been testing Kentucky Fried Chicken Nuggets in the Charlotte, North Carolina, market since July, and the results have proven successful enough for a nationwide, permanent rollout beginning March 27.

KFC’s new nuggets are made with 100% white meat chicken and the brand’s signature 11 herbs and spices. They start at $3.49 and are available in 5-, 8-, 12- or 36-piece options at participating restaurants. Combo options are also available, including Secret Recipe Fries, a biscuit and medium drink. And, the nuggets will be available in kids’ meals at participating restaurants.

“As the original fried chicken experts, we’re introducing a chicken nugget made the way only KFC can – hand-breaded with our distinctive Original Recipe of 11 herbs and spices,” CMO Nick Chavez said in a statement. “Simply put, you’ve never had chicken nuggets like these – they’re the chicken nugget America deserves, and worth the wait.”

The addition of nuggets comes as KFC removes several items from its menu, including popcorn chicken, which Chavez said was not a true substitute for high-demand nuggets. During a recent interview at KFC U.S. headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky, Chavez said over 50% of chicken nugget consumption comes from consumers 25 years old and younger – the very demographic KFC is hoping to reach with its ongoing menu innovation. As such, he believes the nuggets will provide a strong tailwind for the company. 

“Frankly, we knew we could do better than the popcorn chicken,” Chavez said. “It’s hard to believe we’ve never had a true nugget. We’ve been ceding nugget buyers to other brands for too long now and these nuggets will give us a way back to families, which is our imperative.”

Chavez added that the nuggets have generated over 10% of the sales mix in the Charlotte test and 60-to-70% incrementality.

"So we’re confident they’ll help us reach younger consumers and be more relevant to them,” he said.

$5 Mac Bowls are back

KFC also announced it’s bringing back the $5 Mac & Cheese Bowl nationwide starting April 3 and for a limited time. The bowls feature KFC’s new nuggets and a three-cheese blend. The brand is bringing back its Nashville Hot sauce for a limited time to complement the Mac & Cheese promotion.

KFC’s Mac & Cheese Bowl debuted in 2019 and returned in July 2022 at the $5 price point. During parent company Yum Brands’ Q3 2022 earnings call, CEO David Gibbs said the value option helped drive a positive 2% same-store sales comp.

Contact Alicia Kelso at [email protected]

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