Yum! Brands Inc. (YUM) is set to report third quarter 2018 earnings results on Wednesday, October 31. Wall Street expects the company to report earnings of $0.83 per share on revenue of $1.38 billion. In the second quarter, earnings topped estimates while revenues matched forecasts.
Like every other fast food chain, Yum too has to deal with shifts in customers’ preferences, taking them away from fast food and more towards healthier options. Menu revisions and price optimization are some of the key strategies adopted by fast food chains to stay afloat, and like its peers, every now and then, Yum makes changes to its menu at its main divisions – KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.
Let’s look at some of the strange dishes that have come out of the Yum! Brands kitchen in the name of innovation. Some have gone while some have stayed:
Double Down bun-less burger
KFC rolled out the Double Down bun-less burger in Australia and then in the UK. The dish, which consisted of bacon, cheese and barbeque sauce in between two chicken fillets, was a huge hit in the UK, where it was launched last year, and the company brought it back this year for a limited period due to its popularity. The Double Down burger created a record as KFC’s fastest-selling burger in the UK, with one sold every second at the time of its launch.
Pink and black burgers
Back in 2015, KFC came out with pink and black burgers in China, both of which were made of chicken. The “black diamond bacon spicy chicken leg burger” and the “rose cheese roasted chicken leg burger” were priced in the same range. Both items were limited-edition and received mixed reactions with some customers terming it ‘bizarre’ and others calling it ‘unique’.
Yum’s Pizza Hut did the unthinkable when they came out with the Doritos Pizza in Australia. The pizza contained mozzarella cheese, cheddar and Doritos on its crust. While the company called its creation ‘delicious’, the weird product managed to pique the curiosity of customers.
Hot Dog Pizza
In an attempt to pick up its flat same-store sales in the US, around three years ago, Pizza Hut launched the Hot Dog Bites Pizza, which had hot dog bites baked into the crust. The strange item managed to impress very few customers, who seemed to think the combination of pizza and hot dogs did not work.
Taco Bell introduced the Cheetos Quesadilla in the Philippines and as the name suggests, the dish comprised of a quesadilla stuffed with jalapeno-flavored Cheetos and cheese. This dish too was limited edition and received mixed reactions.
In an attempt to compete with McDonald’s (MCD) breakfast offerings, Taco Bell rolled out the biscuit taco which was described as a taco in the shape of a biscuit with stuffing of sausage, cheese, eggs or chicken and jalapeno honey sauce. This product too managed to spike the curiosity of customers despite its strangeness.
No matter how strange, the menu innovations from Yum! Brands and other fast food chains will continue and like we mentioned earlier, some will shine and some will fade.
So far in 2018, Yum’s stock has climbed over 5%, and looking at the past three months, the stock has gained over 9%.
The fast-food industry is among the worst affected by the inflation-induced dip in consumer confidence, which is weighing on the demand for discretionary items. Domino’s Pizza, Inc. (NYSE: DPZ) is
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