KFC has over 60 years of experience serving signature chicken to billions of customers across 125 countries. Samir Menon, Managing Director, KFC India, speaks to FoodService about how the brand continues to serve the world’s tastiest chicken and its plans to expand and penetrate further into the Indian market.
Please explain the positioning of KFC India, its USP and special features when compared to the other QSR chains in the Indian market?
The biggest USP for KFC is that nobody makes chicken like KFC does. Our consumers loves the signature craveable taste of our chicken, and their love for the brand has helped us grow over the years. We are known for making the world’s tastiest chicken and shall continue to focus on what we do best. Our hot & crispy chicken continues to be a favourite; other offerings like zinger, smoky grilled, popcorn, etc. are also quite popular among the consumers.
What is your value-for-money proposition for diners and which are your key customer demographics?We follow a standard menu pricing across all our restaurants in India. Our menu offerings are structured to meet the needs of all segments of consumers and their differentiated demands. The brand has several offerings for its customers that includes both value and variety. We have launched special offers like Wednesday Special offer, 5-in-1 Meal Box, Ultimate Savings Bucket etc., to help consumers make smart choices and enjoy unmatched abundance. Our menu also includes pocket-friendly meals like the Super Saver range @ Rs. 99. The intent is to come up with great offerings that can be enjoyed by friends, families and groups, at various price points.
What’s the culinary portfolio at your chain?
We have introduced interesting formats and flavors for our consumers, while focusing on our core offering - the fresh, crispy, juicy chicken. Our menu includes hot & crispy, chicken popcorn, strips, wings, burgers and more. We are expanding the portfolio from chicken buckets to other favorites like snack, rice bowls, etc.
Which are your best-selling products and what have been your key innovations?
Our best-sellers remains Hot & Crispy chicken. We continually undertake innovations on our core offerings to come up with newer formats and flavours. Some of the products that we introduced earlier are: chizza with crispy toppings, yummy molten cheese, signature pizza sauce but no crust; only with chicken as the base; Double Down - the all chicken, no bun burger, and the grilled layer with smoky red. These interesting variants keep our consumers delighted.
With healthy eating picking up, how are you bringing these trends in your menu offerings?
Chicken remains at the core of our brand proposition. But that does not imply we alienate our vegetarian consumers. We have veg variants across most of our menu categories of snacks, burgers and rice bowls.
Which markets are you looking to expand into?
The quarter ending March 2019 marked the tenth consecutive quarter of positive system sales growth for us, with a 26% system sales growth for India and area countries. In order to fuel growth and widen brand’s reach, we will continue to tap Tier 3&4 cities through a mix of both equity and franchise-owned stores.
What is your criteria for selection of suppliers and vendors for your chain?
We are firmly committed to providing the highest level of food safety to our customers. We source Grade-A chicken locally in India from the highest quality and reputed suppliers like Venky’s and Godrej, who meet international safety norms. Additionally, from the suppliers’ farm to the customer, KFC chicken goes through 34 quality checks. Hence, what you bite into is nothing but the best!
Please describe how and in what forms you are deploying technology to make your business more efficient and customer friendly?
We want to bring our consumers closer to our finger lickin’ good chicken and make the ordering experience easier and faster for them. Keeping this in mind, we have incorporated through Alexa, Facebook messenger, etc. With this alliance of food and technology, the idea is to make the ordering experience more personalized for the consumers-especially for millennials who are always looking out for newer tech-innovations.
Tell us about the challenges of your business?
The Food industry is cyclical and it depends on the trends and consumer’s interest. With more and more players foraying into the food business, and newer formats like stealth kitchens becoming popular, every brand is making efforts to retain their edge. Right from food quality, service, retail space to offering a differentiated experience beyond the food, brands have to ensure they remain relevant to their consumers. Focusing on our core values while inducing global innovations and flavours, and keeping our consumers engaged with the brand, is the way for the brand to overcoming these challenges.
Tell us of your brand’s key achievements?
With over 60 years of rich experience of serving signature chicken, billions of customers across 125 countries in the world have become loyal customers of the brand. This is also evident from the q-o-q positive system sales growth in India. This continued momentum attests to our three-pronged strategy: Building our core business through exciting innovations in the category; Strengthening affordability by offering value, variety and unmatched abundance to our consumers, with special offers; and Expanding access through offline & online mediums - new store openings and delivery.