KFC tests a new bowl, focus on attracting younger consumers

KFC is testing Smash’d Potato Bowls in Pittsburgh for a limited time. The bowls include KFC’s Secret Recipe Fries, mashed potatoes with a warm cheese sauce, bacon crumbles, and a three-cheese blend, and are available for $3.49. Customers can also add KFC’s new nuggets to the Smash’d Potato Bowl for $5.49. The nuggets were introduced in March as part of the intentional focus on recruiting younger consumers with menu offerings that are more relevant to them, such as its chicken sandwich, wraps and its $5 Mac & Cheese Bowl. The $5 Mac & Cheese Bowl was first introduced in 2019 and returned in 2022 at the $5 price point to promote a stronger value proposition. It was also brought back alongside the nuggets launch in March. Executives noted the product helped drive a positive 2% same-store sales comp. On a call to analysts, Yum Brands CEO David Gibbs said it’s a value offering without “just discounting our core product,” which interested a wide array of consumers.

Taco Bell Is Adding Vegan Nacho Fries to All Locations Nationwide

Since they first hit the menu in 2018, Taco Bell’s Nacho Fries—seasoned fries served with a side of nacho cheese dipping sauce—have been a top-selling, limited-time item. This year, the popular fries are back and there is something new to crave for Taco Bell lovers looking for a dairy-free option.

On October 12, Vegan Nacho Sauce will debut that customers can pair with vegan-certified Nacho Fries instead of the dairy-based nacho cheese sauce. This marks the first vegan offering to be made available across all locations.

Coach Prime stars in new KFC commercial

KFC is going all in on the Deion Sanders experience at Colorado with a new commercial featuring the Sanders family. KFC has previously worked with the family to promote the Fill Up Box and chicken nuggets. Now the Sanders’ are promoting the new hot and spicy wings. Coach Prime is heavily featured in the commercial, along with his sons and current Colorado players, Shedeur and Shilo Sanders. The athletes both signed NIL deals to appear in the campaign.

KFC Foundation funds $1M in community projects

Finger lickin’ good doesn’t just describe KFC’s fried chicken. The KFC Foundation announced that it is funding $1 million in community projects, making wishes come true for 100 non-profit organizations nationwide. The KFC Foundation’s Kentucky Fried Wishes program supports communities by funding development projects on the wish lists of non-profit organizations.

“We’re so inspired by the work of these incredible non-profits and honored to help serve joy by positively impacting hundreds of communities across the country with this funding,” said Emma Horn, Executive Director of the KFC Foundation. “With our Kentucky Fried Wishes program in its third year, we’re proud to double last year’s donation amount and help fund more community projects than ever before.”

Since 2021, the KFC Foundation’s Kentucky Fried Wishes program has invested over $1.6 million to support over 160 local non-profit organizations.

Taco Bell Testing Baja Blast Gelato

Taco Bell is exploring a new way to serve Mountain Dew Baja Blast. Testing of a Mountain Dew Baja Blast Gelato begins on Thursday, Aug. 31, at one location in Irvine, CA. This is the first time gelato has been on a Taco Bell menu. The test will last two weeks or as long as supplies last.

$20 “Fill Up Box” urges customers to “make it a chicken night!”

KFC’s newest offer is a $20 Fill Up Box, a box filled with four pieces of fried chicken, 12 chicken nuggets, fries, biscuits and sauces. It’s targeted specifically at families that might otherwise order pizza during the final days of summer break. “Pizza night can get boring and a bit cheesy,” Nick Chavez, CMO of KFC U.S., said in a statement.

The offer also gives customers the opportunity to try our nuggets offering a 10-piece nugget order for $5 at the same time. KFC sold 100 million nuggets in the first eight weeks it sold the product this spring, helping same-store sales rise 5% last quarter.


Free Doritos Locos Tacos every Tuesday through Sept. 5

Once a week from Aug. 15 through Sept. 5, Taco Bell will be giving customers free Doritos Locos Tacos to celebrate the trademark being removed from the phrase “Taco Tuesday.” Since 1989, Wyoming-based Taco John’s had held the trademark for the popular term. Taco John’s gave up the trademark after Taco Bell filed a petition with the United States Patent and trademark office in May to have it revoked.

Getting a free Doritos Locos Tacos is as easy as walking into any Taco Bell location and asking for one. There is no purchase necessary, and there is a limit of one per customer.

If you prefer to order ahead on the Taco Bell app or website, you will need to enter a separate code each eligible day. These are the codes:





KFC: Nearly 30% digital sales increase Q2

Throughout the past several quarters, Taco Bell has hogged the spotlight for Yum Brands’ earnings results. That spotlight in Q2, however, belonged to KFC.

On August 2nd, Yum reported a 9% increase in same-store sales on the quarter – nearly 2% higher than analysts’ expectations. Global sales jumped 13%, with KFC up 19%, and both Taco Bell and Pizza Hut up 7%. Comp sales increased 13% at KFC, 4% at Taco Bell, and 4% at Pizza Hut. Habit Burger Grill, the newest and smallest chain in the company’s portfolio, increased system sales by 9% with flat same-store sales.

Much of KFC’s performance came from a recovering China business, though the U.S. market was up 5% driven by “a combination of product innovation and always-on value strategy,” CEO David Gibbs said during the earnings call Wednesday morning. KFC’s nuggets launch in late March generated transaction growth, with 100 million sold in the first eight weeks. Gibbs said the product also appealed to younger and new customers and built upon an already established sales layer from the chain’s sandwich launch in 2021.

Yum’s recommended ordering system, an AI/machine learning module that predicts how much food a GM should order, was deployed to 800 stores in the second quarter, and is now live in over 4,400 KFC and Taco Bell U.S. stores. And, Yum’s next gen point-of-sale system, which Turner said improves operational efficiencies and enhances team member effectiveness, was deployed to 1,000 Taco Bells in the quarter, with a 5,000-unit target by the end of the year.

Taco Bell just dropped the Grilled Cheese Dipping Taco

Taco Bell is introducing its first birria-inspired taco, made with slow-braised, shredded beef that’s folded into a tortilla with melted cheese and served with two types of dip.

The new protein, available Aug. 3 nationwide, is called the grilled cheese dipping taco. In addition to shredded beef and a three-cheese blend of cheddar, mozzarella and pepper jack, the white corn shell is filled with a creamy jalapeño sauce. Instead of the traditional red-tinged beef broth, however, this birria taco will be served with a warm nacho cheese sauce and Taco Bell’s red sauce, which the chain says is “carefully calibrated to achieve the perfect consistency and harmony of flavors with every bite.”

KFC US appoints Paul Tuscano as new chief digital officer

KFC has appointed Paul Tuscano as its new chief digital officer, effective August 1st. The new role was created to drive the company’s digital priorities further. Tuscano will oversee the implementation of the KFC digital roadmap, ensuring that the right capabilities guide digital solutions for the customer. He will report to KFC president Tarun Lal and work alongside KFC chief technology officer Chris Caldwell.