Fast-Food Feathers Fly as Super Chix Takes on Chick-fil-A

Yum's new chicken QSR concepts leave KFC behind

KFC Super Chix (CSP Daily News Convenience Store Petroleum)

ARLINGTON, Texas -- As KFC struggles, parent company Yum Brands is testing a new chicken restaurant called Super Chix, which many industry observers see as an attempt to best category leader Chick-fil-A, reported the Associated Press.

A website for the restaurant in Arlington, Texas, shows a menu that seems positioned as a more premium offering than KFC, in line with the trend toward foods people feel are higher in quality, said AP. The menu lists a chicken sandwich, chicken tenders, fries and custard. Toppings include kosher pickles, jalapenos and sweet pickles, while sauces include smoky honey pepper and Sriracha sweet and sour.

The website also notes that, "Our chicken is marinated daily in our kitchen, then hand-breaded and cooked in 100% refined peanut oil. No MSG, HFCS or phosphates."

Super Chix bills itself as the "Home of the Last True Chicken Sandwich."

On its Facebook page, it said, "We are three food-obsessed friends who believed chicken could and should be better. Way better. So we set out on a make-a-way-better-chicken-sandwich quest. We left out the preservatives, we used ingredients everyone can pronounce, and we decided every order would be cooked to order. Then we got serious about the details--we even spent the better part of a year searching for the perfect pickle. Good news--we found it. We poured our hearts into creating something better--what we believe is the best chicken you'll ever try. Now we're finally ready to share what we call … The Last True Chicken Sandwich."

It added, "At Super Chix, we are super into chicken. We think it's just about the most perfect food. So we did something drastic, we decided to keep it simple. Our recipe was created to celebrate all of chicken's perfection. We have noteworthy fries, drinks and custards, too."

Virginia Ferguson, a spokesperson for Yum, downplayed the suggestion that the restaurant was being tested for the U.S. market.

"This is an exploratory concept that may in the future be considered for international purposes," Ferguson told AP. She added that the company will be exploring other concepts for "international purposes" in the near future, such as a "Banh Shop" that sells Asian subs.

The test comes after KFC lost its position as the No. 1 chicken chain to Chick-fil-A in 2012 in terms of sales volume, according to food industry researcher Technomic. Although KFC has many more locations than Chick-fil-A, its sales have declined despite new menu items, such as boneless chicken pieces. Last year, U.S. sales at established KFC locations fell 5%.

Yum, based in Louisville, Ky., has also been testing a higher-end concept called "KFC eleven" that has a similar feel to Chipotle and does away with mentions of founder Colonel Harland Sanders.

KFC Corp., based in Louisville, Ky., is a leading chicken restaurant chain, with approximately 4,500 locations in the Inited States and more than 17,000 total outlets in more than 115 countries and territories around the world. KFC is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Louisville, which has more than 40,000 restaurants in more than 125 countries and territories. Yum's restaurant brands--KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell--are global leaders of the chicken, pizza and Mexican-style food categories.