KFCs chicken sandwich simply highlights industry’s shift to what consumers feel is familiar

Following today’s news (Tuesday 26 May) that KFC has released a chicken sandwich that is similar to Popeye’s household product;

Carmen Bryan, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view on how this is reflective of the new QSR industry:

“As of May 22, GlobalData expects the global quick-service restaurant (QSR) market to stand at a COVID-19 adjusted slowdown of $655.8bn in 2020, declining from $786.3bn in 2019*. While the staying power of mega chains such as KFC are immense, even these chains must adapt their menus to meet the growing taste for nostalgia and familiarity if they wish to make up for 2020 H1 losses.

“That there are comparisons being made between KFC’s new menu item and Popeye’s chicken sandwich simply reflects the industry’s overall shift towards more familiar and simple offerings. Fast-food chains in general are known for their experimental, and often quite gimmicky foods, however, as consumer confidence is taking a big hit, it may be time to go back to what consumers know.

“What’s more, with the capital backing to withstand the COVID-19 lows, major brands are able to leverage the buzz generated by constant new releases, gimmicky marketing ploys and public rivalries to maintain public relevance. This will be essential when closing the gap in revenues prompted by the pandemic.”

* GlobalData’s COVID-19: COVID-19 Impact Market Model – Foodservice – May 22 – Global – Value US$

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