The Super Chix website describes the chicken as "hand-breaded"
and says it's free of MSG, high-fructose corn syrup and phosphates.
Sandwich-topping choices include pickles, onions and jalapeno
peppers and sauce options include a "signature" sauce, honey
mustard, smokey honey pepper, and Sriracha sweet & sour.
Marketing will likely be bare bones. Super Chix already has
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Yum is mum on details,
including whether it's tapped an agency for Super Chix. "This is an
exploratory concept that may in the future be considered for
international purposes," a spokeswoman said in a statement. "It is
only in its infancy stage. We've explored other concepts over the
years and they provide interesting learnings."
The move shows that Yum Brands is paying
attention to consumer trends. Bernadette Noone, senior
director-product management at Technomic, said a big move in
food-service is the "premiumization" and customization of menu
items. It also is on trend with smaller menu size. "Some
restaurants have decreased the number of menu items in the past
year and are planning to do so in 2014," said Ms. Noone, noting
that "chains like In-N-Out Burger and Raising Cane's [another
Chick-fil-A-like concept] have had a lot of success focusing on a
small, core menu."
So why not clue in consumers that the concept comes from KFC,
which already has substantial chicken cred? Dennis Lombardi,
restaurant-industry analyst and exec VP at WD Partners, said it
lets the company "start free and clear of all perceptions of all
existing brands" -- good or bad.