Case Study Real Choices at KFC (page 243)
Could you imagine eating a sandwich without any bread? At first I found it kind of odd but overall it may be something to consider in your future diet. Next time you are standing in the bakery department deciding on what loaf of bread to buy, flip the loaf over and read the nutritional information. You may be surprised of what you are actually eating. My significant other does a lot of grocery shopping so I wanted to see exactly what she has been having me eat. Four times a day without giving it a second thought I eat a peanut butter and honey sandwich for breakfast and roast beef and cheese for lunch. My findings from Nature’s Own 100% whole grain are that each slice contains 70 calories and 0 calories from fat. I guess that’s not too bad considering you have to have two pieces of bread for something to be considered a sandwich right? Well the debate officially began in 2010 when Kentucky Fried Chicken (as known as KFC) introduced their “Double Down” to be an additional item to the menu.
KFC promoted the new item in its advertisements stating that there is “so much 100% premium chicken, that they didn’t have room for a bun” The sandwich is an attempt to grow revenue in a very competitive business in a society where every calorie counts. The United States has the largest fast-food market in the world and it continues to advance daily while keeping their current customers happy along with trying to recruit new business. KFC began in a gas station in North Corbin, Kentucky during the Great Depression. The success of the eating establishment original called Sanders Court & Café led to expansion and renaming of what we know it today as Kentucky Fried Chicken. In 1952 the first KFC opened in South Salt Lake Utah, and expanded in Canada in the early 1960’s. Since this time KFC has changed ownership several times and today the brand is owned by Yum Brands and is based in Louisville, Kentucky.
There are more than 14,000 KFC restaurants in more than 80 countries around the world, serving 12 million customers each day. According to KFC.com, the Double Down, “features two thick and juicy boneless white meat chicken filets (original recipe or grilled), two pieces of bacon, two melted slices of Monterey Jack and pepper cheese, and the Colonels Sauce.” Although it was initially offered on a limited time basis, KFC decide to add the item to its menu permanently. The company’s change of course was related to the string sales driven in part by people eating the sandwich on YouTube and popular TV personality Stephen Colbert consuming one on The Colbert Report TV show. KFC reports that the launch is one of their most successful ever. From a nutritional standpoint, the Double Down is 540 calories, 32 grams of fat, and 1380 milligrams of sodium. The grilled version is 460 calories, 23 grams of fat, and 1430 milligrams of sodium.
The level of sodium in the sandwich is drawing a great deal of concern from customers and health organizations. To put these numbers into perspective every twelve hundred milligrams is equal to ½ teaspoon of salt. Many critics are questioning why KFC introduced this as an option in the middle of building its brand image as a fast food restaurant offering healthier menu choices. The fast food retail market is in constant state of competition. The dilemma for the company is how to appeal to both the healthy market and the generous market? Many customers prefer healthy choices when considering fast food; however there are numerous customers who find the appeal of fat, salt, and processed carbohydrates simply irresistible. The general issue of obesity is leading to major health problems become front page news. The choice of menu items must lead to long term profits and competitive market advantage and KFC will have to find a way to balance both. 1.What is the decision facing KFC?
The decision facing KFC is how to appeal to both the healthy market and to the not so healthy market? I think for starters they could have renamed the sandwich from the get go. When I hear the words Double Down at a fast food restaurant, there is no way it can’t be good for you, but then again maybe that’s why it was such a huge success. I take it more like double your weight and your heart rate slows down while eating the sandwich. I think if they had used another name it may have drawn better attention to health organizations and to the healthy market. My suggestion are Twice is Nice, Two is better. Pure Chicken, or the Real Deal maybe something more appealing to the healthy consumers. 2.What factors are important in understanding their decision situation?
Some of the most important factors in this decision facing KFC is to first realize what consumers really want to eat and then even how it looks and sounds to others that may be on the fence of trying the sandwich. They say you judge something within 7 seconds of seeing it whether it is going in your mouth or in any other means of life. I personally think meals like this one is not an option for most consumers in today’s competitive market while hungry when others have a lot more to offer and healthier. 3.What decision do you recommend?
In today’s environment I personally think the idea was there with the chicken, which is one of the cheapest and healthiest things to eat. I think this option would attract more consumers if it was on a wrap or tortilla and smaller portions instead of holding two pieces of chicken in your hand while drinking a big gulp to wash down the salt. 4.Conclusion
To sum it up fast food is ongoing competition to entice consumers of all markets to buy their product whenever and wherever. I hope you have learned something from me and my case and the next time you order a sandwich will it be without bread. Regardless of what I think or what others may so, would you order one of these sandwiches, if you haven’t already indulged into the deliciousness? To be honest I never even heard of it? Can you come up with any other ideas that may help out KFC to attractive the healthier market of consumers? Do you feel sandwiches like the “Double Down” is the future for fast food chains?