At KFC, we’re famous for our Original Recipe chicken made with 11 secret herbs and spices. The duty of protecting that recipe and making sure guests all around the world can enjoy mouthwatering fried chicken falls to our Food Innovation and Technology team. We spoke to Ana Maria Basurto, KFC Global’s Head of FIT, to learn more about how we work with markets around the globe to make sure every bite is always finger lickin’ good.
How would you describe the role of our Food Innovation and Technology team?
Our food is one of the KFC brand assets that we need to protect and promote. The Global Food Innovation and Technology team’s main role is to hero our fried chicken by guarding KFC’s iconic recipes around the globe (Original Recipe, Extra Tasty Crispy and Hot & Spicy fried chicken in different formats), and defining the KFC food principles and the KFC food innovation strategy to follow.
We partner with a cross-functional team to guarantee the high quality of our brand standard products are met and maintained in each one of the countries we serve our great tasting chicken.
What makes KFC Original Recipe the best fried chicken in the world?
The Colonel was determined to create the best tasting fried chicken in the world; he worked very hard doing several iterations until he found the perfect recipe, the one that made his dream come true.
The Original Recipe fried chicken is freshly prepared by our certified cooks in each one of our restaurants around the globe. It starts by using the best quality ingredients, such as our fresh chicken in most of the markets and KFC’s secret blend of “11 herbs and spices”. Afterwards, it is hand-breaded with the Colonel’s unique breading technique and ends up being pressure cooked at the perfect time and temperature, creating a multisensorial experience which makes it “Finger lickin’ good”.
What does it mean to you and how would you describe what it takes to do chicken the right way?
To me, “doing chicken the right way” means to do the best each one of us can possibly do in each activity that involves putting the best tasting fried chicken in the hands of our guests. We work on partnering with the right suppliers, developing and sourcing our restaurants with high quality ingredients, to providing each one of our cooks with the proper training in our unique procedures, and sourcing approved equipment and the tools required to let them prepare finger lickin’ good food!
KFC is in almost 150 countries around the world. How do you factor local tastes into menu decisions across countries?
KFC respects and promotes cultural diversity, and integrating local cuisines and consumer taste preferences is a good way to demonstrate that. We provide our Marketing and Food Innovation teams the KFC Food principles and the Global Food Strategy, which is used as a framework within the innovation freedom that each individual market has to develop new products and create their own marketing calendars that meet their consumers’ needs.
Finally, what is the most important thing that you keep in mind with the work you do?
Our Food Innovation and Technology teams around the world have unique challenges. We need to be mindful, listen carefully, and ask the right questions to be able to fully understand each market’s business cases when providing countries around the world with guidance and support.