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Chicken fries: the secret to a Burger King success story

Food marketing expert Jordan LeBel weighs in on a snacking phenomenon
July 27, 2015
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By Elena Raznovan

chicken-fries-bk-daily

Restaurant Brands — owner of Burger King and Tim Hortons — just announced an increase in dividends for its investors from 10 cents per share, up to 12 cents per share owned.

Although part of the increase in revenues is attributed to Tim Hortons’ launch of the Dark Roast coffee line, a surprise hero emerged for Burger King: chicken fries.

Initially launched in 2012 and plagued with operational challenges, the chicken fries were put on hold until the kinks could be ironed out. This quarter, the chicken fries were launched again and became a runaway success.

We asked marketing professor Jordan LeBel, famous for the Food Marketing course (MARK 491F) offered at the John Molson School of Business, for his opinion on what’s so special about these savoury slivers.

"Looking more broadly, snacking is growing in popularity. Now, the fries allow for filling low-traffic parts of the day,” says LeBel.

“And, come on… they’re chicken fries! Chicken is still a top-ranked protein — and it’s fried."

There's a more practical aspect, too, LeBel notes. "Portability and grab-n-go also factor in. You can eat them on the run, while driving or whenever. So you’ve got some of the winning factors for a successful menu item."

Cluck on, Burger King.

 

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