In 2010, KFC introduced a bunless burger called the Double Down. With a commercial saying; so much 100 percent premium chicken, we didn’t have room for a bun. Thought of as just a marketing strategy, KFC did deliver its promise. But how widespread was the sandwich?
When KFC’s bunless sandwich, the Double Down, was introduced in the market, it created a lot of publicity. When it was introduced in Ireland in 2017, KFC sold one sandwich per second.
The Double Down
The Double Down is KFC’s signature sandwich wherein instead of regular bread buns, the burger is pinched with two original recipe chicken fillets. In it is bacon, two kinds of cheese, a little piece of vegetable, and of course, the Colonel’s secret sauce. (Source: Daily Titan)
Double down was test-marketed in Omaha, Nebraska, and Providence, Rhode Island, and on April 12, 2010, KFC launched it in the market. In just one month, 10 million double downs were sold. It was only intended to be sold for just six weeks, but the fast-food chain announced that it would be available indefinitely due to consumers’ response. (Source: USA Today)
The burger was made even more famous when Stephen Colbert ate one on The Colbert Report.
The European region only sold the Double Down in 2017, and it became a crowd favorite. It was the fast food’s fastest-selling burger at the time, with KFC claiming that one burger was sold every second. (Source: iNews)
Double Down Sales
Despite reports of having sold 10 million sandwiches, KFC’s Chief Financial Officer Rich Carucci claims the sales of double down were immaterial. Despite creating colossal publicity, the Double Down only contributed to 5% of KFC’s sales for that period. (Source: CNN)
History of KFC
KFC Corporation is the largest fast-food chicken operator and franchiser in the world. It all began with Colonel Harland Sanders in Corbin, Kentucky. In the late thirties, Sanders, who loved cooking the pan-fried chicken his mother used to cook for him, opened the Harland Sanders Court and Cafe.
Sanders Court and Cafe eventually closed during the second world war due to gas rationing, shortening tourism. He then reopened in the fifties, but with Interstate 75, the road bypassed Corbin entirely, ending the opportunity of motorists to visit his shop.
Sanders was forced to sell his cafe, and his profit was only enough to pay off his debt. Aiming to have a better yield for his product, Sanders incorporated and visited many shops and restaurants, selling his chicken recipe. By 1963, Sanders’ chicken recipe was franchised to more than 600 outlets in the US and Canada.
Sanders was making a lot of money from the franchises. In 1964, he sold Kentucky Fried Chicken for $2 million, plus an annual salary for public appearances of $40,000. The investor group who bought the chicken recipe was formed a 29-year-old law graduate John Y. Brown, a Nashville financier John Massey, and the first person who bought Sanders’ franchise 12 years prior, Pete Harman.
Soon after, the franchise grew and boomed, switching from a sit-down meal to a stand-up, take-out fast food shop. (Source: Reference for Business)