KFC looking to use calorie counts as a competitive advantage?
Yup. Having licked its once seemingly unshakable, automatic association with fried-only via this year's highly successful Kentucky Grilled Chicken (KGC) launch, KFC is now out to woo calorie watchers.
KFC's new "penny per calorie" campaign promotes a 395-calorie meal for $3.95: a KGC drumstick and thigh, green beans and mashed potatoes and gravy. Tagline: "UNTHINK. Taste the UNder 400 calorie side of [KFC logo]."
The meal, while currently being positioned in part as a sensible option for folks hoping to avoid holiday weight gain, is a permanent addition to KFC's menu (although pricing may change). Furthermore, the Yum Brands QSR, which is shooting to "own" the grilled chicken segment, has a full line of KGC menu items in the product pipeline, according to KFC spokesperson Rick Maynard.
The TV commercials for the 395-calorie meal, which began airing last month, make head-on calorie comparisons with specific items from competitive QSRs, including McDonald's' Premium Grilled Chicken Classic Sandwich together with its Snack Size Fruit & Walnut Salad (630 total, although the sandwich alone has 420 calories, according to McDonald's nutrition site); Dunkin' Donuts' Honey Bran Raisin Muffin (500), and Subway's 6" B.M.T. sandwich (450).
The offer is being featured on kfc.com, and will be promoted in an email blast to KFC's 3 million online subscribers, as well as on the brand's Facebook and Twitter pages, Maynard reports.
In many of its current communications, KFC is also touting the news that KGC has been selected as 2009's most memorable product launch in an annual consumer survey conducted by Schneider Associates, IRI and Sentient Decision Science. (A post on KFC's Facebook page boasts that KGC "even beat out the Snuggie!") KFC's Famous Bowl was selected as most memorable product launch of 2006.