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KFC has a Krush on India

Last updated on: June 7, 2010 11:30 IST

KFC has a Krush on India

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BS Reporter in New Delhi

Yum! Restaurants has extended the KFC brand beyond foods to cold beverages.

Like elsewhere in its global chain, KFC is best known for its fried chicken, which has, for decades, offered the promise 'finger lickin' good' food.

Last year, Yum! Restaurants, the company that owns the brand that retails a range of fast foods, decided to extend the KFC brand concept to beverages, with Krushers, a range of chilled drinks. India was one of two test markets selected for this exercise, Australia being the other.

"The idea behind Krushers is to fill out an 'empty space' in the market with a product relevant to our consumers within the broad concept of the KFC brand promise of cravable taste," said Niren Chaudhary, managing director, Indian Subcontinent, Yum! Restaurants (India).



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KFC has a Krush on India

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Introduced in July last year after eight months of testing, it has proved such a signal success that it now accounts for 8 per cent of KFC's beverage sales in India.

"It's been hugely successful in India," Chaudhary acknowledged.

Krushers is currently served in 70 of KFC's 75 outlets in the country, but its success prompted Yum! to introduce Krushers' Bars within KFC outlets to strengthen the brand identity.

India, added Chaudhary, was the first market to experiment with this shop-in-shop concept.

There are currently two bars, one in Rajiv Chowk in Delhi and one in Ampa Mall in Chennai and, depending on how they fare, the concept may be introduced elsewhere.



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KFC has a Krush on India

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"The brand has created a lot of buzz amongst youngsters, who make up for our core audience, and has seen tremendous repeat purchases," a Yum! spokesperson said, adding, "With sustained year-round sales, Krushers is now a permanent layer on the KFC menu."

Designed to provide KFC its own brand identity within the cold beverages segment, the range of flavours has been tweaked to suit the Indian pallet.

Krushers are currently available in a variety of flavours that broadly fall under three types -- dairy-based "Crunchy Krushers," that contains ingredients such as crushed cookies, butterscotch and nuts, yoghurt-based smoothies and lemonade-based 'sparklers'.



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As the Krushers experience indicates, India is increasingly becoming a test bed for the Yum! Restaurants chain.

Its newest restaurant brand, Tex-Mex chain Taco Bell, for instance, already has one Indian-designed product -- a dessert -- on Taco Bell's US menus.

This is a tortilla filled with melted dark chocolate.

The Indian chain also followed up on its promise of "thinking outside the bun" (a pot-shot at the burger boys) by introducing a unique layer of India-specific vegetarian items on its menu within six to eight weeks of opening.

Made from  traditional ingredients like potato and cottage cheese, Chaudhary said the vegetarian items now account for more than 60 per cent of Yum's sales. "I have no doubt it will soon be introduced in outlets elsewhere in the world," he added.



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