Industry News | April 6, 2010

Bye Bye, Bun: KFC to Launch Double Down

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On April 12, KFC is introducing its first-ever bunless chicken sandwich: the KFC Double Down. The sandwich features two thick boneless white meat chicken filets (Original Recipe or Grilled), two pieces of bacon, two melted slices of Monterey Jack and pepper jack cheese, and Colonel's Sauce—but no bun.

During the product’s test market phase last year, high consumer interest and demand drove people to travel for miles to sample the Colonel’s new creation. From online chatter speculating on whether the sandwich was just an urban legend to late night talk show mentions, the Double Down generated more buzz than any test market item in KFC history. The sandwich, which was previously available only for a short time in two markets, will now be sold in KFC stores nationwide starting April 12.

To celebrate the launch of the Double Down, KFC will do some good by donating the “unneeded” sandwich buns to feed the hungry. The brand will donate both buns and funds to food banks across the country, starting with the Dare to Care Food Bank in KFC’s hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.

“The Double Down created such buzz as a test market item and it already has such high consumer awareness, we toyed with the idea of making a commercial that just said, ‘It’s here,’” says Javier Benito, executive vice president of marketing and food innovation for KFC. “And to celebrate the national arrival of the Double Down, it’s great to find a good home for some of those ‘unneeded’ KFC buns at food banks around the country.”

Because the Double Down became such a nationwide sensation during test marketing in 2009, KFC is taking the unusual step of publicizing the product in advance of its arrival in restaurants.

“We don’t typically talk about our products before they’re available in our restaurants,” Benito says. “But we expect Double Down to be in great demand when it becomes available on April 12, and we want fans to have time to arrange their schedules in advance for a visit to KFC to try this legendary sandwich.”