KBP Brands, a Kansas-based franchisee with about 847 KFC restaurants, has expanded its test of funnel cake fries beyond its initial four markets. The test, which began in the fall of 2022, exceeded expectations, according to the Kansas City Business Journal.
A spokesperson from KFC corporate said KBP recently began offering the menu item at additional restaurants as a limited-time offer while supplies last. Those locations have not been disclosed, though KBP’s VP of marketing activation Tonya Mangels shared on LinkedIn they’ve been rolled out to all of the franchisee’s KFCs, and echoed that customer response and sales results have exceeded expectations.
The funnel cake fries mirror the taste and texture of a carnival-inspired funnel cake, with a crispy exterior, fluffy interior and dusted with powdered sugar. KFC’s spokesperson said there are no plans for a national launch.
KBP’s test comes as other brands experiment with funnel cake-inspired menu items. In June, Zaxby’s launched funnel cakes with powdered sugar and caramel sauce for dipping starting at $3.49. In a statement, Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer Patrick Schwing said the company has been “blown away by the response.”
Del Taco is also bringing back its funnel cake fries at the end of this month. The brand’s fries sell for $1.99.
Notably, this treat isn’t new to quick-service menus. Del Taco’s funnel cake fries initially appeared all the way back in 2014, for instance. Jack in the Box introduced mini funnel cakes in 2010, while Burger King launched funnel cake sticks in 2009. Checkers and Rally’s have also introduced both funnel cakes and funnel cake fries in the past.
For KBP Brands, innovation expands beyond the menu. In April, the company rolled out an SMS and mobile wallet digital marketing program to all of its locations across 28 states after a successful test that started in December.
In a statement last year, Mangels said, “As the largest KFC franchisee, KBP Brands takes a lot of pride in supporting test initiatives to enhance the customer experience.”
Contact Alicia Kelso at [email protected]