Starting Monday, Kentucky Fried Chicken will delight the BBQ-obsessed (or curious) in Indianapolis with its new Smoky Mountain BBQ Chicken: Extra Crispy chicken with a mouthwateringly sweet and smoky BBQ sauce. Blending recipes from Memphis and the Carolinas, it’s like barbeque you’ve had before, but different.
Barbeque recipes are strongly connected to place. The region known as the barbeque belt stretches across the southern United States and includes the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Tennessee, Missouri, Kentucky and Texas. The Smoky Mountains separate Tennessee from the Carolinas, but KFC’s Smoky Mountain BBQ uniquely blends some of the best flavors from those regions.
While barbeque recipes are polarizing, the food category is well liked by most Americans. More than 95 percent of U.S. consumers say they like BBQ and one-third of consumers eat BBQ or BBQ-sauced foods in any given week.
“It takes Smoky Mountain magic to combine our crispy fried chicken with sweet, smoky BBQ that appeals to the masses,” says Mike Wesley, KFC U.S. senior marketing director. “We took our one-of-a-kind flavor to Indianapolis—outside of the barbeque belt—to test its broad appeal.”
Smoky Mountain BBQ is available in Indianapolis for a limited time in Extra Crispy Tenders, Chicken Littles, and Extra Crispy Chicken. Participating restaurants will also offer the new flavor in Kentucky Grilled Chicken and Hot Wings. After the test market run, KFC will evaluate when Smoky Mountain BBQ will be available across the U.S.
Marking the third southern-inspired flavor by KFC, Smoky Mountain BBQ follows the successful introduction of KFC’s spicy and smoky Nashville Hot Fried Chicken, and the sweet and tangy Georgia Gold honey mustard BBQ. KFC continues to innovate so that it can bring special regional flavors to restaurants across the country.
Additional test markets for Smoky Mountain BBQ include select restaurants in Pittsburgh and Chicago.