KFC added nuggets to its nationwide menu on March 27. Less than eight weeks later, the chain is reporting that over 100 million nuggets have been sold thus far. The company wouldn’t disclose if this number is in line with expectations, however a spokesperson said, “we’re very excited with the success we’ve seen to date.”
It appears as though the nuggets are also helping to generate traffic, in addition to sales. Placer.ai data finds that KFC’s traffic increased more than 8% in the beginning of April following the product’s launch.
Perhaps this early success should come as no surprise given the performance of the nuggets in its Charlotte, North Carolina, test last summer. CMO Nick Chavez recently said the nuggets generated over 10% of the sales mix in that 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.
Reaching younger consumers and becoming more relevant has been KFC’s priority with the launch of handheld, boneless products, starting with its sandwich in early 2021. Late last year, the company brought back its wraps, which helped generate traffic and a 2% same-store sales increase in Q1 despite lapping strong sandwich-driven numbers.
“KFC is a tremendous global brand and in most markets, it offers a tremendous off-the-bone business like tenders, nuggets and sandwiches,” Chris Turner, CFO of parent company Yum Brands, said in a recent interview. “It’s taken the U.S. a little longer to find the right formula, but it feels like we’re finding it.”
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. The nuggets are also available in kids’ meals at participating restaurants.
Contact Alicia Kelso at [email protected]