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 TULSA, Okla., Sept. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- In a revolutionary departure from its namesake, Kentucky Fried Chicken Corp. (KFC) is rolling out Colonel's(TM) Rotisserie Gold roasted chicken in most of the 5,100 KFC restaurants nationwide, including most of the 36 KFC restaurants in Tulsa and surrounding areas. The move instantly makes KFC the largest player in the non-fried chicken arena, one of the hottest growth segments in the food industry.
 The $100+ million new product launch -- the costliest in KFC history -- is supported by a national television ad campaign, consumer magazine and newspaper ads, point-of-purchase materials and direct mail.
 "We have a message for American consumers who turned away from KFC because of our fried chicken heritage," said Kyle Craig, KFC-USA president. "We listened! And because we're the chicken experts, you'll get the best-tasting chicken -- roasted or fried -- at KFC."
 The Colonel's Rotisserie Gold is a whole chicken, deep marinated and slow roasted in a rotisserie oven to golden perfection. KFC's proprietary marination process with a secret blend of herbs and spices ensures moist, tender, flavorful chicken. The Colonel's Rotisserie Gold is available in quarters, halves and by the whole bird. While prices may vary, suggested retail prices are: whole chicken, $6.99; 1/2 chicken, $3.99; 1/4 white meat, $2.69; and 1/4 dark meat, $2.09.
 The Colonel's Rotisserie Gold chicken is the centerpiece of an improved and expanded KFC menu that includes Chicken Taquitos and BBQ Chicken Sandwiches, as well as an array of new sides including Garden Rice, BBQ Beans, Macroni & Cheese, Cornbread Muffins and more. (New sides available at participating KFC restaurants only.)
 Non-fried chicken is one of the fastest-growing segments of the fast food business logging annual retail sales of $500 - $750 million. The Colonel's Rotisserie Gold is expected to nearly double the QSR non-fried business with first full-year retail sales of as much as $700 million.
 The launch of the Colonel's Rotisserie Gold is supported by television advertising produced by KFC's national advertising agency of 15 years, Young & Rubicam, New York. The first ad -- a teaser -- broke a four-part series in the midwest and west on Sept. 13.
 The Colonel's Rotisserie Gold was a test market success in Austin, Texas; Miami; Syracuse, N.Y.; and Baltimore/Washingon, D.C. It began full market testing in Austin in October 1992.
 Introduction of the Colonel's Rotisserie Gold is the next step in the evolution of KFC which began in 1939 when Colonel Harland D. Sanders perfected his still secret blend of 11 herbs and spices and unique pressure cooking process. Currently, KFC holds approximately a 50 percent share of total U.S. fast food fried chicken sales of $7 billion.
 KFC Corp, based in Louisville, Ky., is the world's most popular chicken restaurant chain with more than 8,700 outlets in 67 countries around the world serving six million customers each day. KFC is a subsidiary of PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE: PEP), Purchase, N.Y.
 Research conducted by KFC from the test markets indicate that at least one-third (33 percent) of Colonel's Rotisserie Gold customers are lapsed users. And many of those lapsed users (25 percent) are customers who haven't visited a KFC in a year or more. This is a significant finding because it means we are luring back customers who are familiar with KFC but have simply stopped visiting.
 Reassuringly, little cannibalization of existing products is occurring, according to our test market research and in-store sales. Current fried chicken customers are increasing the frequency of their KFC visits and are buying both fried and rotisserie chicken in the same visit. Sales of sides have increased an average of 18.5 percent in the Austin and Miami test markets. Overall restaurant sales -- including sales of fried chicken -- in test market restaurants also have increased.
 KFC also conducted taste tests against three non-fried competitiors. The Colonel's Rotisserie Gold beat Boston Chicken, Kenny Rogers' Roasters and Roy Rogers' Roasters on taste and moistness, in some cases by more than a 5-1 margin. (The internal taste research conducted by KFC may not be used for advertising claims because the sample size is not nationally projectable and the test was not conducted in a double blind fashion.)
 The Colonel's Rotisserie Gold customers are 56 percent female, 44 percent male and 62 percent of them are 25-44 years old.
 -- Chicken is the most widely consumed meat in the nation. Per capita consumption of chicken has risen from 27.9 pounds in 1960 to 70.9 pounds by the end of 1993, according to the National Broiler Council (NBC). Baking and grilling are the most popular forms of cooking chicken at home, according to the NBC.
 -- While the percentage of households serving fried chicken has dipped only slightly from 23 percent in 1985 to 21 percent in 1991, the percentage of homemakers discouraging the eating of fried chicken has grown from 19 percent to 41 percent over the same time period.
 -- Out-of-home consumption of non-fried chicken has grown an average of 10.75 percent annually since 1989 while out-of-home consumption of fried chicken grew an average of 3.5 percent since 1989, according to the National Restaurant Association.
 -- According to KFC-commissioned research by the Marketing Research Corporation of America, Northbrook, Ill., 64 percent of all chicken consumption is non-fried.
 -- KFC internal research estimates the non-fried fast food segment to log $500 million to $750 million in retail sales annually.
 -- The overall non-fried chicken segment which includes delis, grocery stores, convenience stores and fast food chains is estimated at $8 - $10 billion in retail sales annually.
 -0- 9/23/93
 /CONTACT: Jean Litterst, 502-456-8366, Gary Gerdemann, 502-456-8482, (both in Louisville) or Mike Treadwell, 501-756-6360 ext. 412, (in Tulsa), all of Kentucky Fried Chicken/

CO: Kentucky Fried Chicken ST: Oklahoma, Kentucky IN: REA LEI SU: PDT

MM-CM -- CH005 -- 5275 09/23/93 14:10 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 23, 1993

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