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Friday, December 13, 2019

KFC’s new ‘Chizza’ sounds promising, but fails to hit the spot

Chizza is a combination of chicken and pizza topping, doing away with the bread base. But, although the concept sounds amazing, the product under-delivers.

Written by Trusha Navalkar | New Delhi | Updated: January 7, 2016 8:23:25 pm
KFC Chizza_759 When served piping hot, the cheese and chicken combo is lovely — the melting cheese wrapped over the crispy chicken crust that KFC does so well. Bits of veggies give it that pizza topping feel.

KFC unveiled its new product ‘Chizza’ in India on December 18 — a combination of pizza and KFC’s trademark fried chicken. The pizza base has been bumped off, though, to be replaced by pure chicken. It’s like eating both — a pizza and KFC fried chicken — in one bite.

KFC’s Chief Food Innovation Officer Praneet Singh said the product was born out of the question ‘Why not?’

“Innovation is in our DNA,” said Singh, has been behind several KFC India innovations in the past decade. “We pay a lot of attention to innovation, that’s a global mandate that we have,” Singh emphasised. KFC is trying to maintain a balance between its evergreen products like Zesty Chicken and Zinger burger, and some innovative offerings from time to time. “There will be a certain tweaking of flavours that will be done to make it more adaptable to the Indian palette.”

He clarified that Chizza is not an attack on pizza. “Yes, pizzas are consumed…at the end of it there’s so much bread and limited amount of toppings. We are a company that stands for 100 per cent real chicken. So, we thought — let’s do our unique take on it, and a combination of chicken and cheese is the best combination we could have, right? It’s a marriage of two best things you can ever get.” Chizza took about six months time to reach our plates since the idea was first floated.

This reporter, along with other members of the media fraternity, got the chance to sample the Chizza — which basically sounds like there could be nothing wrong with it, gets you kicking for not thinking of the combo before and has your mouth salivating just at the thought. The reality, though, wasn’t as mind-blowing. When served piping hot, the cheese and chicken combo is lovely — the melting cheese wrapped over the crispy chicken crust that KFC does so well. Bits of veggies give it that pizza topping feel. The downside, though, is that the hot cheese also turns the chicken crust soggy after a while, giving it a rather dough-ey taste. And, should you leave your Chizza aside for a couple of minutes, the whole thing becomes quite unappetising — the cheese hardens, the crust becomes soggy and the chicken cold. Though, it must be said, the dish is sure to excite enough chicken and fast-food lovers, at least initially.

For its launch, KFC set out to look for other people who embodied the philosophy of ‘why not’, and chanced upon Voctronica — India’s first all-vocal orchestra. The collaboration with KFC and their catchphrase ‘why not’ gelled perfectly with the band’s vision of making music without instruments. “We did ask ‘why not’ at some level,” said Voctronica member Arjun. “To make a pizza without any bread and to make music without any instruments, I think it just fit you know. They just complement each other so well,” Avinash, another band member, explained. Voctronica — in fact — performed a song they wrote especially for KFC’s #WhyNot campaign. They took only 48 hours to compose the track. They were asked for an encore not once, but twice, to which they just said “Why not?”

Chizza is priced at Rs 169 plus taxes, and is available at KFC stores across India.

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