Creating Impact through canny pragmatism and insight


Cooking Up a Bite-Sized Favourite With Popcorn Chicken

By understanding the habits of daytime fast food fans, we prompted our KFC partners to bring a hidden treasure of theirs to the UK market, spurring extended footfall and sales at the chicken chain.


Legendary fast food institution KFC came to us with a compelling challenge – customers loved their food, but almost exclusively saw it as a substantial dinner meal. For this reason, they were struggling to appeal to people between traditional meal times. They wanted a product to crack the daytime snacking crowd, without compromising KFC’s quality or identity.


The KFC and ?What If! team camped out in various low-cost eateries to immerse themselves in the world of daytime fast foodies. The team was inspired while watching the hordes of teens who would nip in after their studies for a quick, on-the-go snack within their pocket money budget. KFC needed a product for that moment.

During ideation, the team initially developed a potato-based snack with KFC’s seasoning. However, upon discovering that KFC had already produced a low-cost chicken and corn bite product in other markets, the team switched directions. After an accelerated launch, Popcorn Chicken made the hop across the pond and landed in the UK.


Popcorn Chicken whet the appetite of customers across the country and went on to become a consistent best-seller on the KFC menu, shifting upwards of 14 million boxes per year at its peak and generating loyal customers at different times of the day. It also kick-started a move towards more on-the-go bites at KFC, a trend that has shaped the future of the fast food chain.