The KFC Foundation Awards $500K to 50 Nonprofits

The KFC Foundation has awarded 50 deserving non-profit organizations across the U.S. a combined total of $500,000 in Kentucky Fried Wishes grants. Kentucky Fried Wishes is a community-based grant program that encourages eligible KFC restaurant employees to positively impact their local communities by nominating a non-profit organization to receive $10,000 to support a community development project.

“Year after year, we continue to be inspired by the amazing Kentucky Fried Wishes nominations submitted by KFC restaurants across the nation. We are proud to award a record half a million dollars in grant funding this year,” says Emma Horn, Executive Director of the KFC Foundation. “It’s extra meaningful to celebrate these non-profits during the Colonel’s birthday month. He would be proud of how KFC team members are investing in their communities and supporting organizations that are doing some finger lickin’ good!”

KFC’s Founder, Colonel Harland Sanders, would have been 132 years old on September 9. Inspired by the Colonel and his guiding principle to “never pass anybody up,” the KFC Foundation carries on his legacy of doing good, which is why the KFC Foundation awards Kentucky Fried Wishes grant recipients around his birthday.

Get Married in the Metaverse with Taco Bell

Taco Bell is offering the chance for couples around the U.S. to apply to win the brand’s first virtual legal and metaverse wedding package. Taco Bell’s marriage offering is coming to Decentraland for this event—a 3D browser-based platform allowing shared virtual exploration—to celebrate surrounded by loved ones, special guests, Taco Bell fans and live streamed.

Starting August 25 through September 6, couples can apply to tie the knot at the digital metaverse wedding of their dreams by completing a registration form and submitting a video detailing their unique love story, desire to be married in the metaverse and devoted passion for Taco Bell via Taco Bell’s metaverse wedding website. Applicants will receive one entry per person/email address into the contest and can also share their submission video on Instagram, Tik Tok or Twitter with the hashtag #TacoBellMetaverseWeddingContest and tag @tacobell. Any social media-shared videos must be linked or uploaded directly to the contest website.

Once the couple has been selected, Taco Bell will work closely with the pair to create an unforgettable and truly unique wedding. From co-designing wedding attire with a soon-to-be-named designer, to choosing a notable officiant to commemorate the legal union, this one-of-a-kind Taco Bell metaverse wedding will be a true synthesis of long-held traditions and forward thinking as the capabilities of Web 3.0 re-invigorate the culture of weddings.

Test Market for Grilled Lunchwraps

Taco Bell is introducing a new menu item for a limited time at locations in Atlanta, Georgia. The new supersized Grilled Lunchwraps will take a two-handed grip to hold. The new Lunchwraps will be available a la carte or as a combo with Chips & Salsa or Chips & Nacho Cheese Sauce, and a large fountain drink.

The Lunchwrap will be available in three different varieties. The Southwest Grilled Lunchwrap comes with your choice of grilled, marinated, and all white meat chicken or grilled, marinated steak, and then new Southwest Ranch sauce, lettuce, three-cheese blend, tomatoes, and fiesta strips wrapped up into a flour tortilla.

The Chicken Bacon Club Grilled Lunchwrap is made with grilled, marinated, white meat chicken, Avocado Ranch sauce, Creamy Chipotle sauce, lettuce, guacamole, bacon, three-cheese blend, and tomatoes in a flour tortilla.

Finally, the Steak Chipotle Ranch Grilled Lunchwrap is made with grilled marinated steak, the Avocado Ranch sauce, Creamy Chipotle sauce, lettuce, three-cheese blend, and tomatoes wrapped into a flour tortilla.

Taco Bell Tests Proprietary Plant-Based Protein

Taco Bell is testing a proprietary plant-based protein in Birmingham, AL for a limited time. It is featured in the new Crispy Melt Taco and Nachos BellGrande, but fans can also try it in any menu item at no extra cost.

The Crispy Melt Taco starts with a white corn shell tortilla with layers on layers of a blend of shredded cheddar, mozzarella, and Monterey pepper jack cheeses, plus warm nacho cheese sauce.

The taco then features a choice of protein. Vegetarians and flexitarians alike will rejoice at the first option, which is a brand-new, boldly seasoned plant-based protein. A soy and pea protein proprietary blend, this protein is inspired by classic Taco Bell flavors. The taco is topped with crispy lettuce, even more cheddar cheese, juicy diced tomatoes and reduced-fat sour cream.

Fans can also opt for the taco to be made with real seasoned beef. Regardless of protein, the Crispy Melt Taco is available for just $2.49.

During this test, the proprietary plant-based protein will also be featured in Nachos BellGrande, and it can be added to any menu item through order customization. The protein is certified vegan by the American Vegetarian Association (AVA).

Mexican Pizza is Coming Back…Permanently!

Taco Bell’s Mexican Pizza is finally returning to menus permanently on September 15, which is earlier-than-expected. Mexican Pizza came back to menus after a two-year hiatus in May, but demand was higher than expected and, after two weeks, we ran out.

KFC is testing a chicken nugget aimed at Gen Z

KFC is trying out a new type of chicken nugget in an effort to attract younger consumers. Starting Monday, July 18, KFC is offering Kentucky Fried Chicken Nuggets in a limited time test market. The nuggets are made with white meat and KFC’s signature 11 herbs and spices.  They come in servings of eight, 12 or 36 pieces.

A few different types of chicken, including popcorn nuggets, are alread offered. But nuggets will be a draw for the younger diner. The new nuggets have another potential advantage: They’re perfect for snacking, a trend that’s seeing a comeback as consumers adapt to hybrid work or return to the office. Nuggets can be eaten on the go.

KFC’s Mac & Cheese Bowls Return for $5

KFC Mac & Cheese Bowls are back!  The bowls, which debuted in 2019, are making a return to restaurants nationwide on July 18 for $5. Fans can get their Mac & Cheese Bowls starting July 11, via an exclusive digital offer on the KFC mobile app and

KFC Mac & Cheese Bowls are a cheesy twist to KFC’s popular Famous Bowls. The $5 bowl features KFC’s rich and creamy cheddar mac & cheese topped with KFC’s crispy popcorn chicken and a sprinkle of a three-cheese blend.  You can order a Spicy KFC Mac & Cheese Bowl version, too, featuring KFC’s spicy, smoky Nashville Hot sauce.  You can make it a combo by adding a side of KFC’s Secret Recipe Fries and a medium drink.

Yum! Brands to End Ties with Russia

Yum! Brands announced Tuesday that it will fully leave Russia, as the invasion of Ukraine continues.

In June, the company transferred ownership of all Pizza Hut franchise assets to a local operator that will rebrand the stores. Yum! is also in advanced talks to transfer ownership of its KFC restaurants, operating system, and master franchise rights. Once that transaction is complete, the company will fully exit Russia.

In March, Yum! suspended operations of all corporately owned restaurants and halted investment and development efforts. Russia is home to roughly 1,000 KFC and 50 Pizza Hut units, most of which are under license or franchise agreements with independent owners. At that time, the company redirected all profits from Russia to humanitarian efforts and donated $1 million to the Red Cross. Yum! also used its disaster relief fund to support Ukrainian franchise employees and matched worker donations to UNICEF, Red Cross, World Food Programme, and International Rescue Committee.

Big Cheez-It Tostada Currently Testing in CA

Taco Bell and Cheez-It have come together for the ultimate Test Kitchen test: the Big Cheez-It Tostada. The Big Cheez-It Tostada features the eye-catching Cheez-It square topped with seasoned beef, reduced-fat sour cream, fresh diced tomatoes, crisp lettuce and shredded cheddar cheese.

But that’s not all. A crunchier, exclusive surprise awaits for users of the Taco Bell website and mobile app: the Big Cheez-It Crunchwrap Supreme. This version includes seasoned beef, nacho cheese sauce, lettuce, reduced-fat sour cream and diced tomatoes, but the typical tostada shell is swapped for the oversized Cheez-It cracker before being wrapped inside a tortilla that’s grilled to go. This is the first time Taco Bell has offered a digital exclusive as part of a one-restaurant test.

The Big Cheez-It Tostada ($2.49) and the Big Cheez-It Crunchwrap Supreme ($4.29) are both currently testing at only one Taco Bell location in Irvine, CA for two weeks.

KFC Is Giving Away ‘Finger Sporks’

Anyone who orders a KFC Sides Lovers Meal in person or online at participating locations between June 21 and July 12 will receive two free KFC Finger Sporks while supplies last. For the record, the Sides Lovers Meal includes eight pieces of fried chicken or chicken tenders along with four biscuits and a choice of three large sides — offering plenty of opportunities to test out your new tiny sporks.

“KFC Finger Sporks are taking sides off the sidelines and putting them in the spotlight,” Nick Chavez, chief marketing officer for KFC U.S. “Every detail of the innovative Finger Spork has been carefully crafted and pressure tested — by way of eating many KFC sides — for the optimal finger lickin’ good experience.”  The Finger Sporks are essentially utensil finger puppets, where diners simply stick a finger into the base of the small spork and dig right in.