Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Is KFC’s Double Down a double whammy?

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KFC’s new, artery-choking Double Down sandwich is getting lots of media buzz — but is it helping the brand?

The breadless “sandwich” is just the latest in a long line of decadent dishes from fast-food chains. It features bacon, cheese and “the Colonel’s” special sauce sandwiched between two boneless grilled or fried chicken filets.  It’s a low-carb dream but a healthy eater’s nightmare as it is loaded with calories, salt and fat.

The Double Down landed in stores on April 12,  about a year after the company introduced healthier grilled chicken nationwide. Its debut has nutritionists calling foul and served as fodder for late night jokes, food blogs — including those run by CNN, the Los Angeles Times and Consumerist —  and all those guys who make videos of people eating the latest headline-grabbing fast food.

But according YouGov BrandIndex, which does daily consumer perception research on brands, the Double Down has helped erase all of the perception gains KFC won with the launch of its healthier grilled chicken.

Free grilled chicken from KFC

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kfcgrilled001KFC introduced its long-awaited grilled chicken on Tuesday and will give away free tastes on April 27.

The fast-food chicken chain hopes the healthier poultry items will boost flagging sales at its U.S. restaurants.

The Governator wants to slim you down

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schwarzeneggerblog.jpgCalifornia Gov. (and “Terminator” star) Arnold Schwarzenegger on Tuesday signed a law that would make the Golden State the first in the nation to require restaurants to post calorie counts and other nutrition information on menus.

The move from the nation’s most populous state is just the latest salvo in its war on obesity.

Check Out Line: Who needs groceries when you’ve got KFC?

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kfc.jpgCheck Out KFC challenging the American people to create a family dinner for under $10, the same price as their Value Meal.

Consumers have been eating at home more often as high food and gas prices and a decline in home values pressure budgets. KFC is trying to win back those customers by convincing families it’s just as cheap to buy its value meal, priced at $9.99, as it is to buy dinner at the supermarket and cook at home.

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