KFC’s chicken sandwich has created a tailwind for the brand for two years and now the brand is extending the platform. The company today announced it is testing two variations of the sandwich in the Tampa, Florida, market, including the Ultimate BBQ KFC Chicken Sandwich and the Spicy Slaw Chicken Sandwich.
The Ultimate BBQ KFC Chicken Sandwich includes an extra crispy filet with KFC’s Honey BBQ sauce, crispy fried onions, hickory-smoked bacon, melted cheese and pickles served on a brioche bun. The Spicy Slaw Chicken Sandwich includes an extra crispy filet, KFC’s signature cole slaw, spicy mayo and pickles served on a brioche bun. Both sandwiches are available for a limited time a la carte or as part of a combo that also includes a medium drink and individual side.
“The KFC Chicken Sandwich is the best in the business, and we’re excited to expand our chicken sandwich lineup with two new premium options,” KFC U.S. CMO Nick Chavez said in a statement. “This limited test of the Ultimate BBQ and Spicy Slaw chicken sandwiches is part of a continued commitment to giving customers more of what they want. We know our customers are looking for new, distinctive sandwich options and the Ultimate BBQ and Spicy Slaw offer flavor variety that builds on classic KFC ingredients. We think fans of spicy food will particularly love the kick of heat in our Spicy Slaw Sandwich.”
The two iterations build on KFC’s successful chicken sandwich launched systemwide in February 2021, injecting the legacy brand into an increasingly competitive space. The sandwich had an immediate impact for KFC and David Gibbs, CEO of parent company Yum Brands, credited the product for driving strong same-store sales growth in the quarters that followed. About a year after its launch, the sandwich was mixing at nearly 10% of the chain’s sales. During Yum’s Q4 2021 earnings call in February 2022, Gibbs said, “We expect the chicken sandwich platform to continue to be a significant driver of our positive sales momentum for the business going forward.”
During a recent interview at KFC U.S.’s headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky, Chavez said the sandwich and recently introduced KFC Chicken Wraps are part of a bigger strategy to expand the brand’s consumer base to younger demographics and families with children.
“We want to offer more solutions for more audiences,” he said. “The chicken sandwich and wraps are a way to help us create modern relevance with modern families.”
He added that the products drive “every day and individual occasions,” particularly during the lunch daypart, which the brand is hoping will also help drive frequency and traffic.
“The chicken sandwich has experienced huge growth since its launch and we’re excited about its first extension,” Chavez said. “Our goal is to accelerate the innovation pipeline to achieve more relevance among younger consumers.”
Contact Alicia Kelso at [email protected]