The customizable fast food movement has indeed been popular. Subway makes your sandwiches any way you want them. Burger King lets you "Have It Your Way." Moe's Southwest Grill and McDonald's
So, to get in on the action, the wizards at Yum! created the KFC Flavor Station, where customers can choose among a variety of flavors when they order their chicken wings and popcorn chicken. Whether you want Fiery Buffalo, Honey BBQ, or Sweet & Spicy. Just ask and ye shall receive.
And it's not only an issue of getting what you want -- it's also a matter of convenience. Sure, McDonald's and Wendy's
And KFC has added a twist to the $25 million Flavor Station campaign. You get a side of psychoanalysis with every order. KFC outsourced a study, which gives you a tongue-in-cheek indication how the kind of sauce you order reveals your true personality. If you choose Honey Barbeque, you're confident, amorous, and alluring in relationships. If you choose Fiery Buffalo, you're more of a follower and work best in team settings. If you order Sweet and Spicy, you're an extrovert who likes to be in the spotlight, take risks, and seek new experiences. The study even gets into predicting the success of your romantic relationships by matching your favorite sauce with people who like the other sauces to predict compatibility.
This psychoanalytically hip advertising campaign targets young men ages 18 to 34. Why is this demographic so valuable? Because its members are the ones who tend to eat most often at fast-food joints. This culinary campaign comes on the heels of the KFC Snacker, a chicken sandwich priced at less than a buck. The Snacker has successfully yielded $100 million in fresh revenues -- no small number. So if the Flavor Station outperforms the Snacker, it will be a nice return on the investment.
There are other benefits, too: Producing customizable products may give KFC more control of food inventory and costs. Since the sauces will be used only when necessary, there is less risk of throwing away already-sauced chicken at the end of the day. Plus, sales can be reinvigorated easily by removing underperforming sauces and introducing new ones.
KFC has been doing relatively well with same-store sales this year, and projects like the Flavor Station are needed to keep those figures rolling. Considering that the company is also the parent of Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, and that there appears to be no indication their popularity will wane any time soon, long-term thinkers looking for exposure in this sector could definitely put Yum! on their prospective-buy list.
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Let us know what you think of this flavorful development at the Yum! Brands discussion board.