Have you seen the new KFC Fresh commercials? It’s all about how KFC makes their food fresh for their customers. I recently was able to attend the KFC Blogger Experience where more than a dozen bloggers were invited to check out KFC. During this 2-day event, I was able to meet incredible women who also blog as well as the friendly KFC team. During my visit, I learned about the passion of KFC, their sensory testing, how they make their chicken fresh at every restaurant, and how highly regarded the Colonial still is at KFC.
Check out a quick video recap of the KFC Blogger Experience
During the event, we were able to visit on of Louillevile’s best KFC restaurants and step inside their kitchen. While there, we were able to witness the entire process of how they make their chicken fresh for their customers.
How to Make KFC Chicken
The #7 is kinda magical with KFC, they use it through their chicken cooking process. First, we all had to put on lovely hair nets. 🙂
First, they take fresh chicken and dunk it in a wire basket into water 7 times in and out. Next, they roll the chicken in the secret spices and herbs with flour 7 times.
Next, they carefully place each individual piece of chicken on a wire rack. This rack is then placed into a pressure cooking that cooks at varying temperatures during each cycle. So, it’s not just the secret recipe of herbs and spices that make KFC chicken the best, it is also the pressure cooker. The use of the pressure cooker makes the chicken tender and juicy.
KFC takes their secret recipe very seriously. In fact, only 2 people within their organization know the secret. Only 2 people have access to the 2 vaults that hold the recipes and each only can access one volt each. They even contract out 2 factories to mix the seasonings, one half at a time. This valuable secret KFC recipe is priceless too KFC and guarded as such.
Testing KFC Recipes
At KFC headquarters, they are always testing and retesting their recipes. In fact, if you live near Louisville, you too could be part of their consumer test panel through Delve.com. Each week, sometimes 5 days a week, KFC brings in consumers of all kids moms, dads, kids, and even HFFU (heavy fast food users) to try out their products. These consumers test new variations to existing recipes, brand new recipes, and other alterations. For instance, as the market changes, KFC may need to revamp their recipes with more affordable sources for spices, etc.
Before something is changed and launched, they go to their employees and consumers locally and nationwide to test it out. Vanessa, the sensory manager talked about how helpful consumers are with their observations whether they say it has too much salt, pepper, not crispy enough, etc. When they have observed at least 100 responses, then they decide if a product change is in order or a new product should be launched.
For new products, KFC will go from their sensory testing in nationwide testing to segment markets throughout the country. They will test market their new product in 5-10 stores and record the observations of customers, sales, and their employees on how easy and efficient the new recipe is. From here, based on those results, the product may go on to a national roll-out. From start to finish, a new or alerted product takes 18 months to 2 years to be available nationwide.
Speaking of products available nationwide, one of my favorite KFC food items was just re-introduced – the chicken pot pie. Each chicken pot pie is make fresh in store with freshly pulled chicken mixed with the vegetables and sauce and added fresh crust. Yummy!
I had the privilege to meet KFC Chef, Bob Das. He is the head chef at KFC, spending his days working on new recipes for KFC. He spent a good deal of time talking with us bloggers about KFC’s recipes, how they make changes, and showed us around one of the KFC test kitchens.
He works on new side dishes, sandwiches, wraps, and other ideas that might be available at your local restaurant one day. He also works on recipe variations that he will lead his staff on testing and then later Vanessa will test out on consumers. Chef Bob Das works closely with other chefs from companies like Tyson, Pilgrim’s Pride, McCormick, Nestle, and others to develop new recipes and ideas. What an amazing job! He is holding onto it with passion, even after 25 years with KFC.
My KFC Blogger Experience
I had an incredible time at the KFC Blogger Experience although I only was able to stay for about 1/2 of the trip. My father had a heart attack during the trip so I cut the trip short to be with him. Many thanks to the gracious KFC team for getting me an early flight home to be with them. Thankfully, it was a mild heart attack and he is out of the hospital and recovering very well.
I have much more to share about my KFC Blogger Experience and will do so in additional posts. KFC has given me $500 in KFC gift certificates to share with my readers! For the next several months, I will give you more tidbits on my KFC Blogger Experience with the chance to win!