Industry News | October 9, 2000

El Pollo Loco Announces Winner of Flavor Election

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California-based El Pollo Loco announce today the winner of its own election to determine America's favorite flavor of chicken from among flavors the chain has introduced in recent years.

The winning flavor, with 40 percent of the vote, is Barbecue Chicken. Barbecue defeated contenders Chile Lime, Lemon Pepper, and Red Pepper Garlic.

El Pollo Loco is known for a variety of flavors in its flame broiled marinated chicken. In this voting campaign, the Mexican chicken chain turned to the public to decide which of four popular flavors to bring back for a limited time this fall. During the two-week election, held August 23 through September 6, more than 68,000 customers placed votes at El Pollo Loco locations or online at www.elpolloloco.com to cast their vote.

Last introduced in June of 1999, the winning flavor is smothered in the chain's own barbecue sauce with a blend of tangy, sweet and smoky flavors and then flame-broiled.

"We've always believed that the flavor of barbecue has wide appeal all year long," says Margaret Jenkins, vice president of marketing for El Pollo Loco. "Based on the results of the election, it's clear the customers think so too." Barbecue chicken will be available in restaurants from October 9 through November 26, 2000. During this time, the chain's traditional flame-broiled chicken will also be available.

El Pollo Loco will communicate the winning flavor to consumers in both general and Hispanic markets through a television campaign beginning October 16. General market commercials will continue to use the chicken dance theme, and Spanish language commercials will explore the ways people enjoy El Pollo Loco's Barbecue Chicken. The commercials will appear as :15 and :30 second spots in select West Coast markets. The limited time offer will also be communicated to both general market and Hispanic consumers through :60 second ratio commercials in select West coast markets.

In addition to television and radio advertising, El Pollo Loco will introduce a wide mix of point-of-purchase vehicles to communicate its winning flavor. Merchandising components include exterior banners, translites and drive-thru signage.

El Pollo Loco, Inc. a privately held company headquartered in Irvine, California. The chain offers a variety of Fresh Mex items including made-to-order burritos, Pollo Bowls, Salad Bowls, tacos al carbon, tostada salads, and hand-rolled taquitos. El Pollo Loco currently operates 274 restaurants in four U.S. states—California, Arizona, Nevada, and Texas.