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The latest news on KFC from Business Insider

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    KFC's latest promotion allows Americans to eat fried chicken from the cupholders of their cars. 

    The company's "Go Cups" retail for $2.49 and feature a mixture of potato wedges and a chicken sandwich, chicken tenders, or hot wings, according to Foodbeast.

    KFC claims that 42% of Americans would be more likely to eat in their cars if the food container fit the cupholder.

    Here's a glimpse of the "Go Cup" in action, taken from the company's ad. 

    KFC go cup

    Here's the full video KFC released to promote the new concept:

    SEE ALSO: 36 Beloved Snack Foods That Are No Longer Available

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    KFC go cup

    When students of my entrepreneurship course ask me, "How can I come up with more good ideas?" I always tell them to study the marketplace.

    I believe great innovations evolve from studying products that already exist in the market, thinking about how they can be improved and asking: What do consumers need and want?

    It's really that simple. And that's why I write over and over again about how important it is to research and understand buying habits before you come up with new ideas.

    Recently, a major fast food corporation really drove that point home for me. KFC, as you might have read or seen on TV, debuted an ingenious new product this month: the Go Cup.

    I'm a product designer so when I read that the Go Cup, which holds smaller, snack-sized portions of food, fits 83 percent of all car cup holders, my mind was blown. KFC spent two years designing this product. It has a slit at the bottom that can be collapsed to fit different car cup holders, because there is no industry-standard size or design.

    The Go Cup also conveniently separates the different kinds of food you order from comingling. It costs less -- about half the price of the cheapest meal that was on the KFC menu -- and includes five different varieties.

    I couldn't help asking myself: How has no one come up with this idea before? It seems so obvious. People love to eat in their cars, because it's fast and convenient. Why not make the process less messy? They weren't reinventing the wheel, just thinking about how to enhance what was already out there. 

    Another important lesson: KFC didn't just rely on an assumption that their consumers yearned for a snack that was easier to eat in their cars. Their team gathered data that proved that a new innovation was needed. They learned that consumers wanted a snack that was a protein, portable, sold for a low price and that didn't need utensils.

    At the same time, KFC knew that about half its sales were being made by drive-through customers. And according a consumer research firm that surveys eating behavior, Americans order 21 percent of all their meals from their cars.

    That's an enormous market. KFC did their research. And they delivered a product that is going to be a smash, if the media blitz that has erupted in response is any indication. The Go Cups even look like mini buckets -- they managed to extend their brand even while debuting a new line.

    Examples of great, marketplace-based product design are all around us. Just keep looking for them.

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    aldi supermarketAldi, Amazon, Google, and McDonald's are among the world’s favorite brands in 2013, according to a new ranking from the consulting firm Siegel+Gale.

    To determine the rankings, Siegel+Gale asked more than 10,000 consumers in seven countries to review hundreds of brands based on the simplicity of their products, advertising, and customer service.

    Why does simplicity matter?

    "People are more likely to recommend brands that are simpler, and they are happy to pay a premium — pay more money — for the simpler brands," said Brian Rafferty, Siegel+Gale's research director.

    According to the report, consumers are willing to spend at least 5% more for simpler brands, and 75% of people are more likely to recommend a brand because it provides simpler experiences.

    Consumers said they would be willing to spend at least 17% more for simpler experiences with brands like BlackBerry, Virgin Mobile, Nissan, and Toyota, all of which ranked lower in the report.

    Here are the 10 most simple brands worldwide, according to the report:

    1. Aldi

    Rafferty said the Germany-based supermarket chain ranked No. 1 because it markets itself as being a no-frills company with low prices and it’s "really delivering on that [promise]."

    2. Amazon

    The e-retailer gets its No. 2 ranking for its "easy-to-use click-through purchase process" and the transparency of its customer reviews system, according to the report.

    3. Google

    The Internet search giant takes the No. 3 spot, down from first place last year, for its "intuitive user interface" and new app Google Now.

    4. McDonald’s

    Siegel+Gale says McDonald’s consistently ranks in the top 10 for its “accessible menu, transparent pricing and clear, concise messaging.”

    5. KFC

    The fast food brand has a "straightforward lineup of food and pricing, paired with roadside ubiquity and a successful online coupon program," according to the report.

    6. Carrefour

    Survey respondents praised the French retailer for carrying "everything you need under one roof." Siegel+Gale also notes that under new CEO George Plassat, store managers are able to tailor inventory to local tastes, helping to make products more relevant to consumers. 

    7. C&A

    The Dutch fashion retailer, which has branches in 20 European countries, utilizes radio-frequency identification technology, or RFID, to restock shelves quickly and efficiently. Consumers described the brand as cost-effective and reliable.

    8. Samsung

    Rafferty said Samsung’s ranking in the top 10 came as a shock to him, as Apple has always beat out Samsung in Siegel+Gale's four years of surveys. A closer look at the data showed that most of Apple’s low "simplicity" rankings were coming from China, where consumers cited labor issues and service problems. By comparison, consumers rated Samsung positively for its flagship phone, the Galaxy, and the company's positioning as “a modern, yet accessible technology brand.”

    9. Ikea

    The low prices and "easy-to-navigate stores" at IKEA helped it land the No. 9 spot.

    10. Pizza Hut

    The world’s largest pizza franchise beat out other fast food brands including Burger King and Subway, which ranked eleventh and fifteenth, respectively. Respondents praised Pizza Hut for its "completely fresh online experience" and the ability to place orders through Xbox.

    See the full rankings here:

    Global simplicity index

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    subway sandwich artist

    BOSTON — People eating at fast food restaurants aren't very good at estimating how many calories are in their meals, particularly if they're eating at Subway, a new study suggests.

    For the study, researchers queried more than 3,000 customers, including adults, teenagers and parents with young children, at such fast food chains in New England, such as McDonald's, Burger King, Subway, Wendy's, KFC and Dunkin' Donuts. Customers were asked how many calories they thought were in their meal (or, if they were parents, in their children's meals), and researchers viewed receipts to verify what was purchased.

    About two-thirds of customers thought there were fewer calories in their meal than there actually were, according to the study presented here at the American Public Health Association. [9 Snack Foods: Healthy or Not?]

    On average, adults underestimated the calorie content of their food by 175 calories, teens underestimated by 259 calories, and parents underestimated their children's meals by 175 calories.

    The biggest underestimates were at Subway: Calorie estimates were about 20 to 25 percent more incorrect at Subway than at McDonald's. On average, teens eating at the sandwich chain underestimated by nearly 500 calories.

    People were also more likely to underestimate calories if they had a big meal, or if they also underestimated how many calories they need in a day.

    The researchers said they don't know why people seem to have more trouble estimating the calorie content of food from Subway. But it could be because the chain has made a big effort to advertise its low-calorie sandwiches, leading some people to mistakenly believe that all sandwiches sold at the restaurant are low-calorie.

    "Subway has really had a very concerted effort to identify themselves as a healthy chain," said study researcher Dr. Jason Block, an assistant professor of population medicine at Harvard Medical School. "It's not wrong. You can eat healthfully there," but a lot of people don't, Block said.

    Instead of ordering the smaller, 6-inch-long sandwiches, customers often buy the foot-long sandwiches, because they are sold at a bargain price.

    "No matter what you put on a foot-long piece of bread, it's a lot of calories," Block said.

    Soon, restaurant chains with more than 20 locations will be required to post calorie information on menus. (A law requiring calorie postings at chain restaurants was passed in 2010 as part of the Affordable Care Act, but it has yet to be fully implemented because the Food and Drug Administration is still completing the specific regulations.)

    Placing calories on restaurant menus throughout the country will be a big experiment, and researchers will be looking to see if it changes people's purchasing behavior, Block said.

    Even if it has no effect (some studies suggest calorie postings on menus don't change behavior), it may make people more aware of calories, and may cause some chains to make alterations to their menus or to their recipes, Block said. Some restaurants have made changes already: a few months ago, Burger King started selling low-calorie fries.

    Follow Rachael Rettner@RachaelRettner. Follow LiveScience @livescience, Facebook& Google+. Original article on LiveScience.

    SEE ALSO: These Foods Give You Lots Of Energy For Less Calories

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    japan airlines kfc meal

    Japan Airlines (JAL) announced its winter menus today, and among the selection of beef filet, foie gras mousse, and lobster ravioli is something a touch less fancy.

    It's "Air Kentucky Fried Chicken."

    Yes, JAL will serve KFC on flights from Tokyo to Los Angeles, San Diego, Chicago, Boston, New York, London, Frankfurt, Paris, and Helsinki, from December 1 to February 28, 2014.

    The menu includes Chicken Bites, salad, a biscuit with honey maple, coleslaw, and chocolate walnut cake. Not too shabby!

    This is the second year in a row JAL has teamed up with KFC. JAL has brought in food from other popular restaurants for its flights before, including Yoshinoya.

    SEE ALSO: The World's Longest Commercial Flight Has Been Cancelled

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    kfc chicken bucket

    The two bullet points below from a just released update by Yum Brands explain all you need to know about the "magic" of half-off retail discounts.

    • YUM BRANDS- IN CHINA, LIMITED-TIME "HALF PRICED" BUCKET PROMOTION YIELDED AN ABOUT 16% INCREASE IN KFC SAME-STORE SALES FOR FIRST 10 DAYS OF NOVEMBER
    • YUM BRANDS - IN CHINA, KFC SAME-STORE SALES WERE DOWN APPROXIMATELY 8% FOR THE REMAINDER OF NOVEMBER

    So, sales were up 16% for the 10 days in which margins were crushed, then down 8% for the remaining 20 days. And the net impact on the bottom line is...

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    kfc china

    NEW YORK/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Yum Brands Inc's KFC website in China trumpets the slogan "Trust in every bite."

    That message is part of the company's new "I Commit" campaign intended to reassure customers in its largest market, who have cut back on visits since Chinese media reports a year ago about excessive antibiotic use by a few KFC suppliers.

    Interviews with Chinese consumers suggest that rather than soothing concerns, the ads are reminding diners about the food safety scare at the fried-chicken chain, which could undermine Yum's mission to revive sales there.

    A survey conducted in November found nearly 40 percent of respondents were still very concerned about antibiotic use in KFC chickens. Yum, which cut off some of its suppliers after the television report on antibiotics, initially predicted safety fears would quickly fade. But sales at its established restaurants have yet to turn around, and it has pushed back the recovery timeline.

    Yum spokesman Jonathan Blum said the company had tested the "I Commit" campaign, launched about two weeks ago, and found that it was resonating with consumers.

    "It's reassuring customers of our quality commitment," Blum said.

    A lot is at stake for Yum. It is China's largest Western restaurant operator with roughly 4,500 KFC outlets and the company reaps more than half of its overall operating profit there.

    Yum is hosting its annual investor meeting in New York later on Wednesday and analysts expect executives will be pressed for details on their plan to reignite KFC sales in China in the face of quality concerns, tougher competition and choppy consumer spending.

    "This team is more energized than ever," KFC China Chief Executive Sam Su told investors at the kickoff of the meeting. "We are down, but we are not out."

    Despite a decades-long reputation for serving safe food in China, Yum has struggled to restore diners' trust in a country where dangerous contamination scandals are commonplace.

    Some diners told Reuters that Yum's ads bring back memories of China national television's December 2012 report showing that a few poultry farmers supplying Yum fed excessive levels of antibiotics to their chickens. That report helped spawn several months of double-digit percentage declines in sales at established KFC China restaurants.

    "This strategy just risks fanning the flames rather than letting people forget about it," said Yu Kaixin, 24, a recent university graduate from Shanghai, while eating a beef burger at McDonald's, which has also taken a hit from the food safety worries.

    STUBBORN FOOD SAFETY WORRIES

    The Shanghai Food and Drug Administration investigated the chicken contamination incident. It did not bring a case against Yum China and did not assess a fine.

    The restaurant operator quickly responded by cutting less-modern farms from its poultry supplier network. Its "I Commit" public relations push features KFC workers, including KFC China CEO Su, who said the chicken in China is the same as what is served at its restaurants around the world.

    The chain also is investing in social media programs, retraining employees and arranging consumer visits to chicken farms - one of which is featured in an ad.

    The message is not having the desired effect on Ao Kun, 25, an investment manager from Jiangxi Province.

    The more KFC promotes its food quality, "the more I go off them," he said while eating a hamburger combo meal at Burger King. "They keep harking on about it again and again. It's not their competitors that are beating them, it's themselves."

    An online poll of 1,000 Chinese conducted by ConsumerEdge Research during the first three weeks of November found that safety concerns remained prominent.

    About 39 percent of survey respondents "strongly agreed" that they were concerned about antibiotics in KFC chicken, while 33 percent said the same about bird flu and KFC chicken.

    Yum's sales, which fell sharply in late December 2012 after the antibiotic residue media report, took another hit from a bird flu outbreak in China in April.

    Worries about antibiotics in KFC chicken were strongest among women, low-income diners, people in the 18-to-34 age group, residents of China's largest cities and people who ate at KFC in the month before the survey.

    "This antibiotic thing is really being stubborn," said Peter Reidhead, the ConsumerEdge analyst who runs the China survey.

    Yum on Monday said sales at established KFC restaurants in China were flat for the month of November.

    But a closer look at the results suggested that KFC continues to struggle. A limited-time half-price offer on buckets of KFC chicken fueled a 16 percent increase in same-restaurant sales for the first 10 days of November. But once the promotion expired, sales were down about 8 percent for the remainder of the month.

    KFC China is not repeating the special in December.

    Wall Street expects KFC China's same-restaurant sales to improve this month, largely because those results will be compared with the sharp decline in December 2012.

    Seven analysts, on average, expect KFC China sales to rise 7.2 percent in December, according to Consensus Metrix.

    (Additional reporting by Shanghai newsroom; editing by Emily Kaiser and Matthew Lewis)

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    parkour thumb

    KFC wanted a hip, exciting ad for its Go Cups snack line when it partnered with a famous parkour team.

    Instead, the fast food chain removed the video from its campaign, and the team told its angry fans it was manipulated into participating in an advertisement for a brazenly unhealthy product.

    The agency Draftfcb created the #HowDoYouKFC campaign to promote the relatively new Go Cups line with shareable videos demonstrating the snack's portability. Some are meant to be relatable (like this one with friends in a car) and some are just for fun (like this one with a streetballer).

    One of the online ads in the latter category featured members of the Tempest Freerunning Academy, an elite parkour team based in California and known throughout the world. It was posted in late December and removed in early January after causing a bit of a scandal in the parkour community.

    In the video, two athletes flip and run with Go Cups in their hands, snacking in between moves. Freerunners around the world were generally unhappy with the endorsement, and took to social media to let the team know.

    Draftfcb, representing KFC, removed the video from YouTube after just several days. Tempest told its fans that the team demanded the ad be removed not because of the backlash, but because it felt it was tricked into having test footage become marketing. 

    Brian Orosco, a Team Tempest member and manager, told Business Insider in an email:

    When the production approached us, they presented the concept to us as a pre-vis [previsualization — used to conceptualize an idea], not a full-fledged advertisement. Because we work very hard at the Academy to promote healthy living, we were surprised to see it publicly posted on their channel. First, because we felt misled when the material was repurposed without our permission, and second, because we don't want Team Tempest or the Tempest Academy to glorify unhealthy eating.

    Draftfcb denies any deception was involved. An agency spokesperson told us that:

    All the proper clearances were obtained prior to the video being posted. However, the club owner subsequently asked that the video not be used and in the interest of being good partners, we were happy to accommodate that request.

    We saw the video when it was still online. Tempest members Luci Romberg and Dan Mast performed various moves while holding Go Cups and eating fried chicken and potato wedges after landing tricks. A dubstep soundtrack played throughout.

    Parkour fans lambasted the video after it surfaced.

    And though Tempest Academy is in Los Angeles, a large number of freerunners from Glasgow, Scotland took offense. For example:

    Tempest posted a statement to Facebook on Jan. 6 after Draftfcb took the video down (it is a less direct version of the statement the team sent us). It currently has 136 "likes," but some fans were not satisfied and gave passionate responses:

    kfc fb comment 1

    kfc fb comment 2

    kfc fb comment 3

    Draftfcb is happy with how the rest of the #HowDoYouKFC campaign has been going. Even other ads with athletes have been successful, like this one featuring motocross star Bryan Hudson. It's got almost half a million views and a largely positive response:

    And here's a video of the Tempest Freerunning Academy freerunning through downtown LA, in case you wanted a better idea of they do: 

    SEE ALSO: Bud And Bud Light Are In Freefall — And Now Their Parent Company Is Making A Change

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    mutant chicken final copy 1

    A rumor that KFC uses mutated chickens with extra limbs is going viral on Facebook and Twitter. 

    A story citing a University of New Hampshire study claims that the federal government forced KFC to shorten its name from Kentucky Fried Chicken when it stopped using "real chickens" and started using these tube-fed "genetically modified organisms."

    The post, which has now been shared thousands of times on Facebook and Twitter, was published on the viral news site Daily Buzz Live, pumping new life into a rumor that has been circulating for more than a decade.

    "There is absolutely no truth to this ridiculous urban legend, which has been debunked many times," KFC spokesman Rick Maynard told Business Insider in an email. "KFC uses only top quality poultry from trusted companies like Tyson and Pilgrim’s Pride — the same brands customers know from their local supermarkets."

    The rumor has also been thoroughly debunked by Snopes.com, which notes that the company's 1991 name change had to do with menu pages and a desire to eliminate the word "fried," and nothing to do with governmental regulations.

    But apparently, a lot of people find no reason to question the information that's making the rounds on social media: 

    "These so-called 'chickens' are kept alive by tubes inserted into their bodies to pump blood and nutrients throughout their structure," according to the completely false story. "They have no beaks, no feathers and no feet. They grow with multiple legs and wings on one 'chicken.' Their bone structure is dramatically shrunk to get more meat out of them. This is great for KFC because it saves them money for their production costs."

    The University of New Hampshire has also repeatedly debunked the claim that they authored a study on KFC's mutant chickens. 

    "An active Internet hoax, of the urban legend type, falsely claims that KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) is using genetically engineered organisms instead of chickens," according to a statement posted on the university's website. "The hoax includes reference to an unspecified study of KFC done at the University of New Hampshire and there is no such research or study that was done here."

    REVEALED:  This Is Exactly How Chicken McNuggets Are Made

    FOLLOW US! Check Out Business Insider's Lifestyle Section On Facebook

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    KFC Nacho Box

    KFC Australia's newest menu item is having a rough start.

    The Nacho Box, which contains popcorn chicken, tortilla chips, salsa and cheese, debuted in late February, and the company almost immediately began fielding complaints that the cheese was moldy. 

    In a post on Facebook, the company attributed the issue to a packaging problem.

    "We withdrew the cheese from our stores and replaced it with new batches," the company wrote. "KFC also took steps to increase in-store checking processes to prevent this from happening again."

    Now the company is dealing with an influx of complaints that the Nacho Box looks and tastes nothing like what's advertised.

    Here's what the Nacho Box is supposed to look like:KFC

    And here's a sampling of what customers say they are getting: KFC Nacho Box

    This customer's box appears to be filled mostly with crushed chips: KFC Nacho Box

    A customer posted this picture with the caption: "Be warned."KFC Nacho Box

     It looks like the restaurant ran out of shredded cheese for this customer: KFC Nacho Box

    The caption to the photo below reads: "Mine didn't look as nice as yours!"KFC Nacho BoxMore than 7,000 people have commented on the company's Facebook page regarding the new menu item. Most of the comments are negative. KFC Nacho BoxMany complaints were regarding half-full boxes and too few tortilla chips. 

    "This is what mine looked like," a customer wrote on the photo below. "Only 1 almost complete piece of corn chip! Also looks like it's been half eaten by someone?!"KFC Nacho Box

    SEE ALSO: We Tested Taco Bell's New Breakfast Menu — Here's The Verdict

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    A man holds instant noodle packs in front of a KFC restaurant in Beijing October 23, 2013. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

    SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Yum Brands Inc's <YUM.N> fast food chain KFC is rewriting its menu and launching a publicity drive as it struggles to emerge from the shadow of a food safety scare in 2012 and see off rivals luring diners with innovative, home-grown fare.

    The U.S. chain is planning an "unprecedented" overhaul to its China menu, will leverage Chinese celebrities in its publicity and revamp its store design and packaging, Yum said in a statement on Thursday. Yum gets more than half of its overall sales in China and plans to open 700 stores there this year.

    KFC, Yum's key brand in the China market, has been hard-hit since official media reported that chicken it purchased had been fed excess antibiotics in late 2012. Revenues dipped, with China sales at established restaurants falling 4 percent during the fourth quarter of last year.

    Sam Su, vice chairman of Yum Brands Inc, said in the statement the overhaul would involve new packaging, store designs and digital initiatives to help marketing and sales.

    Yum, the largest fast-food chain in China with over 6,200 stores, has seen its market share held flat over the past five years, with around 41.2 percent in 2012, according to data from research firm Euromonitor.

    U.S. rival McDonald's Corp <MCD.N> had around 14.7 in the same year.

    (Reporting by Adam Jourdan; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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    chick fil a

    Chick-fil-A has surpassed KFC as the top chicken fast food chain. 

    Chick-fil-A's sales in 2013 passed $5 billion, compared with KFC's $4.2 billion, reports Venessa Wong at Bloomberg Businessweek

    Chick-fil-A has 1,775 U.S. stores, while KFC has 4,491. Despite a smaller footprint, Chick-fil-A's average sales are more than triple those of its larger competitor, Wong writes. 

    And Chick-fil-A achieves these results despite being closed on Sundays for religious reasons. 

    Wong illustrates a couple of reasons for Chick-fil-A's success. 

    1. Breakfast business. Chick-fil-A has a popular breakfast menu that helped elevate sales by 3.6% last year. This is crucial at a time when demand for breakfast is at an all-time high. While KFC also offers breakfast, sales sunk 2% at its locations. 

    2. Differentiated menu. Chick-fil-A has a menu that is different enough to set it apart from fast food competitors. Popular items include its signature chicken sandwich and waffle fries. However, Chick-fil-A also offers ice cream, milkshakes, and wraps. Long known as a carry-out dinner option, KFC has struggled to find its footing in the fast food space. 

    SEE ALSO: 35 Companies Changing The Way We Shop And Eat

    Want to read more food news? Follow Business Insider: Life on Facebook

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    Chick-fil-A recently surpassed KFC as the best-selling chicken restaurant. 

    But KFC parent company Yum Brands is quietly opening a new concept restaurant in Texas that is strikingly similar to its competitor. 

    The restaurant, Super Chix in Arlington, boasts a premium menu, and does not bear any resemblance to KFC, writes Maureen Morrison at Ad Age. It will open later this month. 

    The limited test menu is strikingly similar to the one at Chick-Fil-A. It's impossible to tell that Super Chix has any affiliation to Yum or KFC, according to Morrison.

    Selections include a "chicken sandwich, chicken tenders, fries, drinks, and frozen custard," Morrison writes. Like Chick-fil-A, items are fried in peanut oil. 

    It's unclear when more Super Chix locations will open. 

    Here are some photos the new restaurant has posted of menu items. 

    Chicken tenders: super chix chicken tendersChicken sandwich: super chix sandwichAnd another take. Look familiar?super chix KFC sandwichHere are the fries, which are markedly different from Chick-Fil-A's waffle version.KFC super chix fries

     

    Here's the store so far:

    SEE ALSO: How Chick-fil-A Is Outselling KFC With Only A Fraction Of The Restaurants

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    double down

    KFC is bringing back its famed Double Down sandwich, USAToday is reporting.

    The sandwich, which is re-launching April 21, contains slabs of bacon, two slices of melted cheese and the Colonel's "Secret Sauce."

    The whole thing is contained by two pieces of fried chicken, instead of a bun.

    The Double Down debuted for a limited time in 2010 and immediately became a target for late-night comedy. 

    "This is deep-fried madness," Colbert Report host Stephen Colbert said of the sandwich when it launched. "This is breaded insanity. It is a sandwich that lacks all sandwich-ness. It's like an edible Hieronymus Bosch painting wrapped in a paper straitjacket. If a sandwich has no buns, can it truly be called a sandwich?"

    The recipe from 2010 had 540 calories and 32 grams of fat, according to The Consumerist.

    The Internet seems to be pretty psyched that the sandwich is making a comeback. 

    SEE ALSO: Domino's New Chicken Product Is Unlike Anything We've Ever Seen

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    U.S. Taco - Int1

    For years, chains like Chipotle and Panera Bread have dominated the fast-casual restaurant space. 

    But now, a new breed of chain restaurant is emerging — one that is a step above traditional fast-casual restaurants but is still more casual than a traditional sit-down. 

    Take Taco Bell's new upscale U.S. Taco Co. and Urban Taproom. The concept will open this summer in California with a menu of gourmet tacos and boozy milkshakes. 

    KFC just opened a restaurant called Super Chix in Texas. That menu includes chicken sandwiches with upscale toppings and salads with homemade croutons. 

    And Sbarro, the pizza chain of mall food courts, is opening a high-end "Pizza Cucinova" restaurant, which will feature made-to-order pizzas and alcohol. 

    The restaurants differ from traditional fast-casual concepts like Chipotle because they offer a sit-down experience, but are still speedy since customers order at the counter. Unlike other fast-casual spots like Panera Bread, the new restaurants will focus on sustainable ingredients and simple menus. 

    The concepts are meant to appeal to millennials, who are often wary of the ingredients in traditional fast food restaurants. 

    Taco Bell brand manager Jeff Jenkins told QSR Magazine there is a new consumer segment that big brands aren't serving. 

    "There are a lot of people who eat Mexican food who don’t come to quick-service restaurants and Taco Bell, and there is an opportunity in the fast-casual arena," he told the magazine. "People are looking for that food experience."

    The fancier new concepts could also mean bigger profits for companies. 

    "As these chains push upscale and make claims about fresher ingredients and higher quality options, customers will come to expect a lot more to justify the higher price points," Time wrote earlier this year

    SEE ALSO: The Best Fast Food In America

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    KFC is footing the medical bills for a little girl who's family was asked to leave one of the chain's Mississippi locations because the toddler's face was "disrupting customers."

    3-year-old Victoria Wilcher was brutally attacked by her Grandfather's three pit bulls, causing her to lose an eye. She also has visible scars all over her face and the right side of her face is paralyzed. 

    Veronica Wilcher KFC

    Her grandmother says Victoria doesn't like looking in the mirror anymore after what happened in KFC. 

    "When we go to a store, she doesn't even want to get out," her grandmother told WAPT. "She's 3 years old and she's embarrassed about what she looks like. She's embarrassed and I hate it because she shouldn't be. It ain't her fault."

    After the incident, family members posted the following message to a support page they created for the little girl.

    Victoria Wilcher KFC

    Since then, tons of people have reached out and shared Victoria's story on social media. The page currently has 139,000 supporters.

    KFC officials sent an official statement to WAPT News. Gawker also reports the company will donate $30,000 towards Victoria's medical expenses.

    KFC launched an investigation as soon as we were made aware of this report. We take this very seriously, as we have zero tolerance for any kind of hurtful or disrespectful actions toward our guests. Our investigation is ongoing, but we have been in touch with the family and are committed to doing something appropriate for this beautiful little girl and her family. We will also work with the franchisee to take appropriate action at the restaurant once the specifics of the incident are determined.

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    Veronica Wilcher KFC(Reuters) - A story involving a disfigured 3-year-old Mississippi girl whose family said they were asked to leave a KFC restaurant because her appearance was scaring customers, has been found to be a hoax, according to a spokesman for the fried chicken franchise.

    Despite that, the company said it will honor a pledge to donate $30,000 toward the girl's medical bills to repair her deeply scarred and partially paralyzed face.

    The family of Victoria Wilcher said she visited a KFC outlet in Jackson, Mississippi, with her grandmother in May and staff told them her appearance was frightening other costumers.

    "Like the rest of America, the KFC family has been moved by the story of Victoria’s injuries and recovery," KFC spokesman Rick Maynard said in an emailed statement.

    "After the alleged incident was reported to us, two investigations took place, including one by an independent investigator. Neither revealed any evidence that the incident occurred, and we consider the investigation closed," he said.

    An unidentified source cited by the Laurel Leader-Call newspaper in Mississippi disputed the family's claim on Monday. The person said the child and her grandmother could not be seen on surveillance videos from two KFC locations and records showed no orders matching the food the grandmother said she ordered.

    KFC said the franchise had hired a consultant to investigate the Wilcher case after being unable to verify it.

    The child was attacked by three of her grandfather's pit bulls in April, according to the Clarion-Ledger newspaper.

    The family has received offers for free surgeries for Victoria and more than $135,000 in donations as word of the alleged KFC incident spread.

    A message posted on a Facebook page run by Victoria's aunt said the newspaper got the story wrong.

    "I promise it's not a hoax," the message said. "I have personally watched this family go without to provide for Victoria. They have not and would not do anything to hurt Victoria in any way."

    (Reporting by Colleen Jenkins and David Adams; editing by Gunna Dickson)

    SEE ALSO: Controversial Montana Judge Tells Fast Food Worker To Get A 'Real Job'

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    chick fil a Chick-fil-A has surpassed KFC as the top chicken fast food chain. 

    The fast food chain now controls the most market share in the chicken restaurant market, according to a recent report by Janney Capital Markets. 

    "Chick-fil-A’s ability to grab market share within the U.S. limited-service chicken category has been
    legendary," writes Janney analyst Mark Kalinowski. 

    In 1999, KFC controlled 40% of the market, while Chick-fil-A had just 9%.

    Today, Chick-fil-A is the "category leader," with a 26% share compared with KFC's 22%. 

    The company also outsells KFC. 

    Chick-fil-A's sales in 2013 passed $5 billion, compared with KFC's $4.2 billion, Venessa Wong at Bloomberg Businessweek reported earlier this year. 

    Chick-fil-A has about 1,775 U.S. stores, while KFC has 4,491. Despite a smaller footprint, Chick-fil-A's average sales are more than triple those of its larger competitor, Wong wrote. 

    Chick-fil-A achieves these results despite being closed on Sundays for religious reasons. 

    Here are a few reasons for Chick-fil-A's success. 

    1. Breakfast business. Chick-fil-A has a popular breakfast menu that helped elevate sales by 3.6% last year. This is crucial at a time when demand for breakfast is at an all-time high. While KFC also offers breakfast, sales sunk 2% at its locations. 

    2. Differentiated menu. Chick-fil-A has a menu that is different enough to set it apart from fast food competitors. Popular items include its signature chicken sandwich and waffle fries. However, Chick-fil-A also offers ice cream, milkshakes, and wraps. Long known as a carry-out dinner option, KFC has struggled to find its footing in the fast food space. 

    3. Room for growth. Chick-fil-A has few restaurants in the Northeast—meaning that they have plenty of room for growth, according to Janney. These states are heavily populated, which could mean big sales for Chick-fil-A. Here's a chart from Janney showing 10 states with growth potential, compared with how many locations McDonald's has in those states. 

    chick fil a chart

    SEE ALSO: 35 Companies Changing The Way We Shop And Eat

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    chinese meat supplier mcdonald's

    Shanghai has shut a factory of US food producer OSI Group for selling out-of-date meat to restaurant giants including McDonald's and KFC, authorities said Monday, in China's latest food safety scandal.

    A Shanghai television channel, which reported the original allegations, said that workers at the plant mixed expired meat with the fresh product and deliberately misled quality inspectors from McDonald's.

    City officials closed the Shanghai Husi Food Co. factory on Sunday and seized products which allegedly used the expired meat, the Shanghai food and drug administration said in a statement.

    Police were investigating, it said, threatening "severe punishment" in future.

    Television footage showed workers in white suits picking up meat and hamburger patties from the floor before putting them back into processing machinery, and one employee handling out-of-date beef and calling it "stinky meat".

    McDonald's said in a statement it had "immediately" stopped using the factory's products while restaurant operator Yum separately said its KFC and Pizza Hut establishments had also halted use of its meat.

    KFC has faced food safety issues in China before, when authorities found excessive levels of antibiotics in chicken it sourced from local suppliers in 2012.

    OSI Group apologised to its customers and said it was "appalled" by the report on its factory, adding that it was "dealing with the issue directly and quickly" in a statement posted on its Chinese website.

    "The company has formed an investigation team, is fully cooperating with inspections being conducted by relevant, supervising government agencies, and is also conducting its own internal review," the statement added.

    Other customers of Husi Food included Burger King, Papa John's Pizza and coffee chain Starbucks, the Shanghai Daily newspaper reported Monday.

    Furniture maker Ikea, which had been named by Chinese media as serving the factory's meat at in-store restaurants, said it stopped using the company's products last year, and sandwich maker Subway also denied it uses meat from the firm.

    China has been rocked by a series of food and product safety problems, due to lax enforcement of regulations and corner-cutting by producers.

    One of the worst occurred in 2008 when the industrial chemical melamine was found to have been illegally added to dairy products, killing at least six babies and making 300,000 people ill.

    US retail giant Walmart said early this year that it would tighten inspections of its suppliers in China after it was forced to recall donkey meat products that had been found to contain fox.

    Last year, China detained hundreds of people for food safety crimes, including selling rat and fox meat disguised as beef and mutton, following a three-month crackdown, police said.

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    A meat supplier for McDonald's and KFC in China was shut down after a news report revealed it used rotten meat that was past the expiration date. 

    A reporter for China's Dragon TV went undercover at the Husi Food Co. factory and allegedly saw chicken skin and breast meat expired for two weeks being mixed into materials for McNuggets. 

    KFC's smoked meat patty allegedly contained meat that had been expired for a month. 

    McDonald's told Business Insider that it is "no longer serving product from the facility." The company also said it is fully cooperating with authorities. 

    KFC also told us it has severed ties with the facility, and is investigating what happened. 

    Here are some images from the Dragon TV news report, via ChinaSmack.com

    Here's the plant, located in Shanghai. 

    meat supplier chinaThe video shows workers pick up meat that has fallen on the floor and loading it into a machine for processing.meat supplier chinaThe site produced Chicken McNuggets for Chinese markets. meat supplier chinaThis meat is clearly marked as expired, according to the report. meat supplier chinaIt is then loaded on a conveyer where it will be turned into chicken patties. meat supplier chinaHere are some of the smoked chicken patties made from allegedly expired meat.meat supplier chinaSome meat products that didn't initially meet standards were allegedly taken back, disassembled, and recycled. meat supplier chinaThese McNuggets were removed for being discolored. meat supplier china

    Here's the full video. 

    SEE ALSO: Revolting Photos From Inside A Chinese Noodle Factory

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