Things you didn’t know

Every day, nearly eight million customers are served around the world in KFC restaurants.

More than a billion of the Colonel’s ‘finger lickin’ good’ chicken dinners are served annually. KFC’s menu still includes Original Recipe chicken – made to the same recipe that the Colonel created more than 50 years ago. For years, Colonel Sanders carried the secret formula for his Kentucky Fried Chicken in his head and the spice mixture in his car.

KFC’s vision is to bring people of all ages, races and backgrounds together to enjoy ‘Soul Food’ – ‘proper food at reasonable prices’ – within bright and fun interiors. KFC is designed to be perceived as a fun and inclusive brand.
Offerings and Values
KFC’s ‘Soul Food’ strategy, introduced in 2003, was established at the very heart of KFC’s business – the product. The company’s core products are Buckets, Burgers and Twisters and Colonel’s Crispy Strips chicken with home-style side dishes. But little had occurred in terms of new product development within KFC since 2001. The ‘Soul Food’ proposition gave new focus to the new product strategy. The first ‘Soul Food’ product to hit the stores was ‘Warm Chicken Salad’. The success of this salad has led to new variants being developed, and more ‘Soul Food’ products continue to feature on KFC’s menus. The new positioning also impacted on the pricing strategy. This was an offering for real people and as a result, it needed to be proper, wholesome food, offered at a reasonable price. Prior to repositioning the brand, the lowest priced item on KFC’s menu was £2.99, which was a barrier to purchase for many consumers. ‘Soul Food’ meant that pricing was looked at in a different way and the case for a value product at less than £1 was put forward. The Mini Fillet Burger launched in 2004 and has had a positive impact upon sales and perceptions of the KFC brand. The ‘Soul Food’ philosophy has also made a real impact upon KFC’s retail estate, manifesting itself in all aspects of communication, from window posters to the menu boards and staff uniforms. Stores have been designed along the key elements of the philosophy, and the bright reds, blues and yellows, which are generic and expected within quick service restaurants (QSRs) have been replaced with more natural colours and materials to make the atmosphere less plastic and more real.

takeaways, supermarket ready meals and a raft of sandwich retailers. Moreover, the media focus on the evils of fast food had fuelled concerns over healthy eating. Consequently, the major players in the QSR sector were all experiencing significant declines. In order to rise to the challenge, KFC needed to overhaul not only its product and high street presence, but also its image. At the heart of this was the ‘Soul Food’ concept, which was most visibly and dramatically brought to life by advertising, created with advertising agency BBH. In fact, ‘Soul Food’ proved to be an effective creative springboard and led to TV executions that

amplified the holistic ‘Soul Food’ experience. Each execution was able to communicate individual product messages, to different targets, on different occasions. In striking contrast to the conventions of the category, products were shown being consumed in the midst of the action. Gone were the generic cutaways to flying drumsticks, raining lettuce and bouncing buns. Soul music has been an important component of the advertising, providing KFC with a specific media property that has helped to make KFC ads famous.

Market Context
The British food-service industry has posted positive growth, increasing by 25% since 1999 and reaching value sales of £26.5 billion in 2004 (Source: Mintel). The number of consumer foodservice units stood at 177,600 in 2003, representing a rise of 6.8% on 1999. A total of 5,224 million transactions were achieved in 2003, representing an increase of 15.6% on 1999 (Source: Euromonitor).

Achievements and Future Prospects
Through its ‘Soul Food’ strategy, KFC has effectively changed public perception of its brand and built an emotional relationship

with its consumers, without compromising the immediate sales requirements of retail marketing. Over the course of 2004 and 2005, KFC successfully launched a new ‘Singing Soul’ campaign. This followed the success of the ‘Soul Food’ campaign in 2003 and 2004 and takes the brand essence throughout the business, communicating it at all consumer touch-points. In the UK, KFC operates 680 stores. Globally, KFC is owned by Yum! Brands Inc. (formerly Tricon Global Restaurants), which operates more than 33,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries and territories. Four of the company’s brands – KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and Long John Silver’s – are global leaders in their categories. Internationally, Yum! Brands opens about three new restaurants each day, ranking it among the restaurant industry’s fastest growing international retailers.

Colonel Harland Sanders creates Original Recipe Kentucky Fried Chicken.

With more than 600 franchised outlets for his chicken in the US and Canada, Sanders sells his interest in the US company for US$2 million, but remains a spokesman.

Kentucky Fried Chicken Corporation grows rapidly, going public on March 17th.

More than 3,500 franchised and company-owned restaurants are in worldwide operation as Heublein Inc. acquires KFC Corporation on July 8th for US$285 million.

Kentucky Fried Chicken becomes a subsidiary of R J Reynolds Industries (now RJR Nabisco), when Heublein is acquired by Reynolds.

KFC is acquired from RJR Nabisco by PepsiCo for approximately US$840 million.

PepsiCo Inc. announces the splitting of its brands – KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut – into an independent restaurant company, Tricon Global Restaurants.

The corporation name is changed to Yum! Brands, which is the world’s largest restaurant company in terms of outlets, with nearly 32,500 in more than 100 countries and territories.

Innovations and Promotions
At the beginning of 2003, KFC’s business was in a challenging situation. Its market was in decline, struggling in the face of increasing competition from pizza, ethnic



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