Industry News | January 14, 2013 | QSR Exclusive Brief

Wing Zone Wants Women to Take a Skinny Dipper

With many diners across the country still trying to make good on their New Year’s resolutions to stick to a healthier diet, Wing Zone is trying to cash in on their hard-fought efforts.

Its newest chicken product, Skinny Dippers—unbreaded, 100 percent white chicken breast that’s fried and flavored-fused in one of the brand’s 17 flavors—plays up this health angle.

“It looks like it’s a grilled item, so it’s got kind of the healthier halo,” says Dan Corrigan, Wing Zone’s marketing manager. “So launching it at the beginning of the year when everyone’s got their New Year’s resolution—and for those looking to eat a better solution for you—it’s definitely better and healthier than our original and boneless wings.”

The product also taps into the fun and excitement that comes from the idea of “naked” chicken and, naturally, skinny dipping. Both of these marketing components combine to deliver a product that caters to the female demographic, Corrigan says.

“We’re a wing concept, so our original and boneless wings have sort of the … impression that they’re for sitting around a game and you have a bunch of guys watching the football game, eating some wings,” he says, adding that this product is the brand’s attempt to tap into the women’s portion of its customer base.

He says it’s also a chance to offer products for the entire family in one location. “You’ve got the tenders for the kids; the original wings for the husband, if they want to go that route; then you can have the Skinny Dippers for the mom or woman in the family,” he says.

The product, which launched last week and comes in three sizes—a snack size ($3.99), half portion (a half-pound of chicken for $5.99), and a full portion (one pound of Skinny Dippers for $10.99)—is being promoted on the brand’s website and mobile site, as well as through its digital and social media.

Corrigan says many of the brand’s recent Twitter and Facebook posts reach out to fans to ask them about their most unique skinny dipping moments, for example—but in a PG manner, he adds.

He says the brand has seen nothing but positive response from fans so far, and while the item will only be offered through the end of April, it could make a long-term appearance based on customer demand.

“If it’s absolutely adored, maybe we’ll bring it back some time in the future as a permanent menu item,” Corrigan says.

By Mary Avant