April 5, 2013 at 11:51 AM ET
Look, ma, no bones.
KFC announced Friday that in a bid to appeal to younger diners, who apparently dislike all that stuff like bones, gristle, etc., it is about to go big on boneless.
Starting April 14, its bigger “original recipe boneless” chicken will debut in buckets and meal packages in the United States.
“More and more people, particularly younger people, prefer to eat it without the bone,” KFC spokesman Rick Maynard told TODAY.
KFC already offers boneless chicken in strip and bite sizes, but the new offerings will be much bigger – more than twice the size of a strip.
The new offerings will be hand-breaded, skinless, whole pieces of breast, thigh or drumstick meat.
“It’s as if somebody filleted it for you,” Maynard said.
The big bet on boneless is only for original recipe at this point, not the extra-crispy fans.
“Those people are OK with eating it on the bone,” Maynard said.
Nothing has been decided, but KFC would likely expand it to grilled before extra crispy, he said.
Even so, other boneless options will remain as the April 14 change will not remove anything from the menu. Customers will still be able to order boneless Extra Crispy Tenders and the Original Recipe Bites and everything else currently on the menu.
Starting April 14, KFC will add a box for $4.99 with two pieces of boneless chicken with a biscuit, side and drink. In the family size, there will be a mixed-piece bucket for $14.99 that will include six pieces of on-the-bone chicken plus four boneless pieces. Customers can order all white or all dark meat, otherwise it comes half of each type.
Prices could go up after the initial launch. “There may end up being a small upcharge for this item” Maynard said. “If there is, it will be very modest.”
The new Original Recipe Boneless chicken will launch with an “I ate the bones” ad package that features people finishing a meal and looking down to see there are no bones on their plate. The ad emphasizes there’s no change in the taste. “It’s just like the original recipe that people have grown up on, except there’s no bones,” Maynard said.