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Apr 13, 2010

KFC cooks up a deep-fried marketing win

KFC has released perhaps one of the most terrifying food-like products of all time: a double-cheese and bacon burger with fried chicken in place of a bun. And every food critic in America just had to try one.

The internet’s obsession with bacon and fatty food pr0n has finally crossed over into the real world this week, with KFC in the US releasing perhaps one of the most terrifying food-like products of all time, the Double Down Burger:


From the greasy pen of the Colonel:

The new KFC Double Down sandwich is real! This one-of-a-kind sandwich features two thick and juicy boneless white meat chicken filets (Original Recipe® or Grilled), two pieces of bacon, two melted slices of Monterey Jack and pepper jack cheese and Colonel’s Sauce. This product is so meaty, there’s no room for a bun!

Yes: it’s a double-cheese and bacon burger with fried chicken in place of a bun. And the internet is — quite literally — eating it up.

Whispers of this latest creation first hit the interwebs in July 2009, when a blogger from Food Geekery spotted the prototype at his local KFC. Other food bloggers quickly picked up the scent of plastic cheese, and a new internet meme was born.

The food police soon caught a whiff, too, and the “One burger to kill us all” stories started piling in, only further fueling the burger’s forbidden appeal.

Anticipation built and built, until earlier this month, when KFC announced it would start selling the Double Down in all stores throughout the US.

So when stoned 16-year-old “chicken technicians” (yes, that’s what they’re called) across the States finally started frying up this frankenburger on April 12, every self-respecting food blogger and critic across the mediasphere just had to try one.

And try them they did:

New York Times: On Ingesting KFC’s New Product, the “Double Down”

It is, in all, a disgusting meal, a must-to-avoid.

LA Times: KFC’s Double Down: A cheesy, sodium-filled sandwich — will you be buying?

… within 10 minutes the sandwich caused some physical distress

Village Voice: KFC’s Double Down Chicken Sandwich Review: I Ate It and Lived!

… the sandwich is an almost total dud

NPR: We Eat The New KFC Double Down And Live To Tell About It (But It’s Only Been 15 Minutes)

This sandwich is an Al Qaeda plot.

Salon: KFC’s insane Double Down taste-tested: Release the cracklin’!

I can already feel the grease wrap itself around my lips.

The Awl: The Definitive KFC Double Down review

… a sloppy and salty mess, and will make your stomach hurt for several hours after you’ve consumed it.

The A.V. Club: KFC’s Double Down Sandwich

I struggled to keep the sandwich down. I felt defeated, lost, overwhelmed.

Serious Eats: Would You Eat the KFC Double Down Sandwich?

It’s just some overly-seasoned chicken with an odd-tasting sauce and too much cheese inside

Slashfood: KFC Double Down Sandwich Taste Test

We can foresee this becoming the new “hangover food” of choice.

Hardly rave reviews — but does it matter? You can’t buy PR like this. And even if you’re mildly repulsed by the whole thing, admit it: on some level, you kind of want to try one.

A huge win for the KFC marketing machine, but a bigger loss to the dignity of Western civilisation.

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9 thoughts on “KFC cooks up a deep-fried marketing win

  1. tonysee

    Nup. On no level.

  2. Holden Back

    Why not just eat that on a plate, if you must?

    The point of a non-greasy bun or slices of bread is to keep your hands relatively clean. The Earl of Sandwich wanted to keep playing cards, not getting fat all over everything.

    American food has something Darwinian to it, as in the Darwin Awards.

  3. SBH

    Oh lordy, that I have lived to see paradise. Two fillets two slices of chesse and no room for bun! Beter than a ribwich.

  4. Grizzly

    When I started reading this page, I thought it must have been a belated April Fools Day joke …

  5. Bhoundiboy

    My Goodness…..did KFC get this recipe from the Elvis arteries have blocked just thinking about it.

  6. supercujo

    Did any of you look into the nutritional figures for this ‘burger’?

    If has less calories than a Big Mac and only 2 more grams of fat than said Big Mac. It is not the instant artery hardening object of distaste it is made out to be.

  7. Ruth Brown

    That’s true (though a) I hardly think a Big Mac should be your nutritional yardstick, b) that’s still at least a quarter — probably more for a lot of people — of the calories you should consume in a day, and c) by all accounts, they’re super stingy on the bacon) but I think the Salon article puts it best:

    “There are 540 calories in KFC’s Double Down, about the same as McDonald’s suddenly quaint Big Mac. But the Double Down, and everybody’s peeking-through-covered-eyes reaction to it, is not about logic. It’s about balls.”

    It’s really more the IDEA of the product that has caught people’s attention.

  8. David Sanderson

    Double up after you Double Down.