Marketing

KFC's newest offer targets the pizza business

The chain is offering a $20 “Fill Up Box,” urging customers to “make it a chicken night,” a shot at the pizza delivery business.
KFC fill up box
KFC's Fill Up Box targets pizza night. It features fried chicken, chicken nuggets, fries, biscuits and sauces.| Photo courtesy of KFC.

KFC’s latest competitive target is, apparently, Domino’s.

The Louisville, Ky.-based chicken chain’s newest offer is a $20 Fill Up Box, a box filled with four pieces of fried chicken, 12 chicken nuggets, fries, biscuits and sauces. It’s targeted specifically at families that might otherwise order pizza during the final days of summer break.

“Pizza night can get boring and a bit cheesy,” Nick Chavez, CMO of KFC U.S., said in a statement.

Competitive dynamics in the restaurant industry can be more complex than brands simply competing with other brands that offer similar menus. KFC doesn’t simply compete against Popeyes, for instance. It may compete with Chick-fil-A, which in turn is arguably the biggest competitor of McDonald’s, which also competes with Dunkin’ for morning customers.

But there has always been competition between traditional chicken players and the pizza business, given that both sectors target customers looking to feed their families at dinner. That dynamic was evident during the pandemic, when KFC sold a lot of buckets of chicken and enjoyed sales nearly as strong as did pizza chains like Domino’s and Papa Johns.

In recent years, however, pizza appeared to win that battle. Chains like Domino’s surged while KFC struggled to gain its footing as it closed stores and searched for ways to offer more boneless items that appealed to younger consumers. One of those pizza chains was Pizza Hut, KFC's sister brand. 

The advent of delivery and mobile ordering, however, could help KFC level that playing field a bit.

The chain is using its innovative marketing to help that along. The company even has a song, “Kentucky Fried Chicken Night,” played to the tune of the 80s song “Ladies Night” by Kool and the Gang. Customers can play the song on various streaming platforms through Oct. 12.

The offer also gives the chain the opportunity to push its nuggets and, indeed, the chain is offering a 10-piece nugget order for $5 at the same time.

KFC sold 100 million nuggets in the first eight weeks it sold the product this spring, helping the chain’s same-store sales rise 5% last quarter.

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