In Focus
MARKETING | Staff Reporter, Australia

What you need to know about the KFC Signature Burger Range by celebrity chef Daren Simpson

KFC announced last week their venture with celebrity chef Darren Simpson. Why have KFC done this and what are their future plans in this area?. Find out as their CMO, Nikki Lawson, discusses the campaign with QSR Media.

QSR Media: Why did you decide to collaborate with Darren Simpson?
Lawson: KFC has always been fanatical about product quality; a legacy handed down to us from Colonel Sanders who was first and foremost a chef. Partnering with Aussie Chefs like Darren Simpson helps us modernise our famous chicken recipe into contemporary combinations & formats in a manner only a chef truly understands. The new Signature Burger range will offer KFC customers a new breadth of variety to satisfy the foodie within us all.

QSR Media: How will you be promoting the new range to your customers?
Lawson: The Signature burger range will be promoted via a 360 degree marketing campaign: TV, radio, digital print and in-store. We are reaching out to our core consumer with the new range but also reaching beyond and targeting the amateur foodies out there who expect more from their food.

QSR Media: It is an 8 week campaign, do you have more "premium" burgers in mind after this?
Lawson: At the moment the Signature Burgers are a limited time offer which will continue for a number of weeks. However, as with most limited time offers, we'll take a look at how our customers have responded and decide if they should become a permanent fixture on our menu.

QSR Media: What is your expectation of the new range?
Lawson: We are extremely excited about the Signature Burger range. The fresh premium ingredients and fresh flavour combinations aren't something anyone else in this market is offering. The core ingredient is 100% free range chicken breast fillets. That chicken is combined with other premium ingredients resulting in chef-inspired flavours designed to appeal to a more refined palate than most QSR products. We think people will enjoy the chance to try something more 'foodie' and adventurous.

QSR Media: There seems to be a change in customers taste preferences, what do you attribute this to?
Lawson: With the Australian market continuing to embrace "foodie" trends as part of mainstream conversations, KFC feels it is the right time to answer the call from customers to have access to premium food on-the-go.

QSR Media: There has been some criticism, reported in the mainstream press, of Darren Simpson collaborating with KFC on this project, labelling Darren a "sell out" - what do you think of this? 
Lawson: People are quick to label fast food as junk so it’s a bit odd that there is now criticism of a real effort to improve the quality of it. We are incredibly pleased Darren agreed to partner with us to offer something very different to the market. We take pride in raising the bar of what is expected from the industry. No one else in the quick service restaurant industry has partnered with a professional and recognised chef to offer a premium quality burger with premium fresh ingredients including 100% free range chicken.

QSR Media: How are your customers responding to the new line so far? 
Lawson: The response from our consumers so far has been fantastic. It’s no secret we are all more engaged with food, more interested in how it is made and the quality of it and these new premium burgers respond to that interest and demand.

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