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Kentucky Grilled Chicken?

KFC Plans Q2 New Product Launch

By Cari Martens

KFC, formerly known as Kentucky FRIED Chicken, plans to roll out a new grilled menu option in units across the U.S. in 2009, in an effort to boost sagging sales.

David Novak, CEO of parent company Yum Brands, Inc. announced the plans during a recent investment conference in New York. ‘This product will be a major transformational product for us,’ Novak said, adding that ‘It’s not the same KFC.’ Yum’s brands also include Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Long John Silver’s, and A&W.

KFC has introduced grilled products in the past with some limited success that it was unable to sustain. But this grilled product was subjected to a thorough market test—in fact, the longest market test in the company’s history. ‘We have a winning concept,’ Novak said.

The Louisville-based company is betting that the new grilled chicken will appeal to health-conscious consumers who try to avoid fried foods. It will be interesting to see if those people, many of whom are still in the habit of calling the chain ‘Kentucky Fried Chicken,’ will give the new product a try.

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