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KFC Concentrates On Its Grilled Chicken

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

And today's last word in business is grilled. We're not talking about July 4th barbeque fare - KFC, formerly known as Kentucky Fried Chicken, now known by the initials KFC - is trying to get a new image, a healthier one. To do that, it's pushing its grilled chicken again. Think of it as KGC. This time, KFC is focusing on bigger sizes and better flavors. As the fried chicken chain cranks up this promotion, it is unclear if customers are actually buying the whole grilled chicken thing.

But Maureen Morrison, a writer at Ad Age Magazine, says KFC has to have an option it sells as better for you.

Ms. MAUREEN MORRISON (Writer, Ad Age Magazine): Even if it's a minority of customers, it's a good idea for that chain to have the option, so that it can take care of the so-called veto vote, which is if a group of people want to get fried chicken and a couple of them don't - they want grilled chicken - if the restaurant doesn't offer it, then they could lose out on that business.

INSKEEP: Now, KFC is a major worldwide brand. On this program the other day, David Wessel spoke of KFCs in China. And when the writer Robert Kaplan met with separatist leaders in Pakistan, they got together in a KFC in Karachi.

But sales have been sliding in the United States while rival chicken chains, like Chick-Fil-A and even Popeye's have higher sales.

That's the business news on MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.