KFC, a unit of YUM Brands (NYSE:YUM), is launching one of its chicken sandwiches into outer space Thursday as a marketing stunt to help promote its new spicy sandwich coming to the U.S.
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The fast food giant, who is officially calling the mission “Zinger 1,” is taking its new Zinger sandwich, which launched in April, to great heights — specifically around 80,000 feet into space.
“Before coming to America in April, the Zinger was available in 120 countries worldwide. It was already Earth famous, so we decided to make it space famous, too. If the Colonel were around today, he would have wanted to do something big and bold with this new sandwich – sending it to space is just what he would have done,” George Felix, KFC’s U.S. director of advertising, tells FOX Business.
Kevin Hochman, KFC’s U.S. president, says the goal is in part to help support World View — an exploration company — who they partnered with for the stunt.
“In all seriousness, we’re proud to support World View’s commitment to advancing space research,” he said in a statement.
The sandwich will be placed in a stratospheric high altitude balloon that is capable of multi-day missions and a controlled flight path. Felix says the move is also a chance for the chain “to be part of space exploration history” in a way.
KFC wouldn’t disclose the cost of the mission but Hochman did tell FOX Business’ Stuart Varney in April that they have invested nearly $80 million to create the new chicken sandwich.
“We have been actually working on this for two years: we spent $80 million upgrading our back house equipment and we spent the last six months re-training all of our staff on how to make a fried chicken sandwich fast because ultimately at lunch, we have to win on speed,” Hochman said in April.
The sandwich will be made with 100% real chicken from U.S. farms without any antibiotics, which is part of the company’s undertaking to stop using antibiotics important to human medicine in its chickens by 2018.