KFC is obviously a worldwide brand, spreading more than 18,000 of its restaurants across 115 countries. The KFC chicken is an icon, and you’ll find it everywhere.
Of course, KFC does have to cater to local food sensibilities in order to thrive in its particular settings. and that means that from time to time, it might offer rather strange menu items that might confuse or even horrify American customers looking for some familiar KFC chicken in strange shores abroad.
Here are some of the historical delicacies that have come out on the KFC menus around the world:
The KFC brand faces a lot of competition here in Korea, since the country already has a thriving fried chicken food culture way before KFC made an appearance here. That’s why in the US, Korean-style fried chicken is so popular.
One famous KFC menu item that was a hit in Korea was the Double Down, which featured “buns” made from breaded fried chicken. Yes, the chicken was on the outside of the sandwich, if you can call this a sandwich.
First, they offered the Zinger Double Down Max in 2013. Between the 2 chicken buns, this featured a hash brown, bacon, and cheese. Then in 2014, they launched the Zinger Double Down King. This time, it had 2 spicy chicken fillets acting as the buns. And in between the buns, you had a beef patty with bacon, along with BBQ sauce and a white pepper sauce. Now that’s a lot of meat!
KFC also has a strong rival in the Philippines with the long-standing Jollibee as its main rival. And in order to contend and thrive in the local scene, KFC has launched several unusual menu items (at least to Western eyes).
Back in 2013, KFC Philippines launched their Cheese Bacon Fest promo. This allowed their customers to add cheese and bacon topping to just about everything on the menu. The only exceptions were the desserts, salads, and the single pieces of chicken.
Then there was the Double Down Dog in 2015. Yes, as it was a Double Down, that meant the “bun” was made with a fried chicken patty. The hotdog was stuffed with cheese, and then smothered in a lot more cheese. This was so popular it sold out!
There was also the Chizza, though it didn’t really look anything like a chicken pizza. It was a huge slice of chicken, which was then covered with pizza sauce along with toppings like green peppers, cheese, and pineapple.
KFC also tried to emulate the “ensaymada” design. The local ensaymada is basically bread with some toppings, usually some sugar, butter, and cheese. That’s why KFC introduced their Cheese Top Burger, as this time, the cheese was on top of the bun instead of between the buns.
KFC has had a rough time in this country, for plenty of good reasons. Aside from the relative poverty of most of the population, chicken importation is banned and the local chicken sources aren’t really reliable. That’s not good for a chicken joint.
But KFC Nigeria is still thriving here, with customers flocking to the place to enjoy the reliable air conditioning (it’s hot here) and the Wi-Fi. Plus, they serve spicy jollof rice, which the locals appreciate.
Almost half of all Indian households are vegetarian, and that’s not good news for a mainly chicken joint. But KFC has expanded its vegetarian options over the years, and its local menu is still about 30% vegetarian.
One of their more popular menu items is the Veg Biryani Bucket, which features a vegetarian patty to go with the spicy gravy and the Hyderabadi-style Biryani rice.