Tag: KFC

KFC puts $218M U.S. advertising media buying account up for grabs; Papa John’s loses Rupp Arena rights, and more drama engulfs UofL Foundation

A news summary focused on 10 big employers; updated 3:23 p.m.

KFC is looking for more bang for its bucks in a just-launched review of its U.S. spending for advertising and marketing across all channels, including print, broadcast, digital and social media. The review, which in theory could end with the chicken-chain keeping its current agency for the work — ad and marketing giant WPP’s MEC unit — doesn’t include creative work now being done by Wieden & Kennedy since 2015; that agency is responsible for the current campaign of rotating actors and comedians portraying a resurrected Colonel Harland Sanders. KFC’s U.S. division said it’s looking for an agency “capable of deploying innovative media strategies while leveraging cost efficiencies and maximizing return on investment” (AdAge). KFC just launched its latest Sanders TV commercials, featuring a fictional Kentucky Buckets pro football team.

PAPA JOHN’S has given up concession rights at Rupp Arena in Lexington starting this fall, and will be replaced by Hunt Brothers Pizza (Herald-Leader).

jack-daniels-150th-anniversary-whiskeyBROWN-FORMAN‘s Jack Daniel’s has unveiled a new version to celebrate its major birthday this year: Jack Daniel’s 150th Anniversary Whiskey, which is priced around $100 per one-liter bottle (The Whiskey Wash). Jack Daniel’s is the top seller among Brown-Forman’s 19 brands of spirits and wine.

UPS: Utah is giving UPS $5 million in tax incentives for the shipper’s plan to build a $200 million regional package operations center at a yet-to-be-determined site in the state that will create nearly 200 jobs (Salt Lake Tribune). UPS is the single-biggest private employer in Louisville, with 22,000 workers at it Louisville International Airport hub.

TEXAS ROADHOUSE is opening a Bubba’s 33 in east of Dallas in Mesquite as the Louisville-based steakhouse chain expands its new sports bar division. First launched in Fayetteville, N.C., in 2013, there are now a dozen Bubba’s locations, including outlets in Houston and Waco (Culture Map Dallas).

In other news: the University of Louisville board of trustees, escalating its battle with the independent UofL Foundation, today approved a threat to sue the foundation unless it accedes to demands to clean up its act. Board of Trustees Chairman Larry Benz said as many as 70 donors have called the university over the past few days to say they won’t give any more money unless the foundation shows that it is “clean” (Courier-Journal). Those donors’ threats followed similar ones last week by the James Graham Brown Foundation and the C.E. & S. Foundation led by Humana co-founder David A. Jones Sr.

KFC kicks off a new Colonel Sanders, and a pro football team to boot

A news summary focused on 10 big employers; updated 8:02 a.m.

KFC: The newest in the TV commercials starring a resurrected Colonel Harland Sanders  imagines him launching a professional football team, the chicken-fueled Kentucky Buckets, in a 30-second spot that starts airing today to promote $20 buckets. The chain posted the commercial to its YouTube page yesterday, where it’s already been viewed more than 153,000 times. Check it out:

The commercial stars “Saturday Night Live” cast member Rob Riggle, the latest actor to portray the KFC founder. Earlier ones were played by Darrell Hammond, Norm MacDonald, Jim Gaffigan and, most recently, perpetually tanned actor George Hamilton, as the “Extra Crispy” colonel. The campaign featuring resurrected KFC founders started in May 2015.

When the Yum unit unveiled the campaign last year, many customers were skeptical or disgusted that the chain would revive its founder — a real person — from the dead, according to Business Insider. But the controversial move has paid off for the chain; in July, Yum announced the fried chicken chain had its eighth consecutive quarter of same-store sales growth, after a period of slumping sales (Business Insider).

KINDRED‘s Gentiva Health Services unit successfully advocated for a Medicaid rule change that could extend care to 18,000 people in Mississippi. Eligible patients in the state will now be able to receive home and community-based services — “waiver services” — at the same time as hospice services. “The old program was unintentionally keeping patents away from hospice care,” Mullins told Home Health Care News. “Patients would be forced to choose between their waiver services, like Meals on Wheels, or hospice care” (Home Health Care News).

Schnatter trades another $360K in Papa John’s shares; Yum sells 250-outlet Pizza Hut master franchise in Australia to Sydney private-equity firm

A news summary focused on 10 big employers; updated 8:18 p.m.

PAPA JOHN’S CEO John Schnatter sold another 4,736 shares of company stock for $360,000, at around the same per-share price he’s been fetching since he began selling aggressively in early August: $76, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing this afternoon. The latest sale, which was on Friday, brought to $10.9 million his total proceeds over the past month (SEC document). Papa John’s PZZA stock closed at $75.96 a share today, up 21 cents.

Pizza Hut boxPIZZA HUT: Private equity investor Allegro and three local fast-food management veterans are taking over Pizza Hut’s 250-unit master franchise in Australia; terms, including a price, haven’t been announced. Pizza Hut has about 10% of the $4 billion takeaway food market in Australia, according to industry analyst IBISWorld. The deal will “accelerate growth and deliver Pizza Hut to more consumers across Australia,” says outgoing Pizza Hut Australia General Manager Graeme Houston. Corporate parent Yum will retain its KFC outlets in the country (Business Insider). The deal is the latest foreign market shift for corporate parent Yum, which last week said it agreed to an advance sale of a $464 million slice of its China operations to a prominent Chinese deal maker and the financial affiliate of Chinese Internet giant Alibaba ahead of next month’s planned spinoff of the China Division.

KFC: In a U.K. court, a former 30-year-old KFC worker was spared jail time after admitting he stole $14,700 from a KFC franchise by processing thousands of fake customer coupons for popcorn chicken. For more than a year starting in January 2015 James Anderson of Basildon, 32 miles southwest of London, pretended to hand money back to customers for the $2.65 snacks, but pocketed the cash instead. He said he wanted the money to contribute to his upcoming wedding. Anderson’s supervisors became suspicious after noticing a high number of refunds being processed under his cash-register ID number (Halstead Gazette).

BROWN-FORMAN will inaugurate new, higher-profile free-standing exhibition space at this year’s TFWA World Exhibition & Conference next month in Cannes. The new Brown-Forman area is more than double the size of the Louisville spirits and wine giant’s former stand and has informal gathering space as well as a large number of meeting tables and four meeting rooms, said Marshall Farrer, vice president and managing director for global travel-retail. The company will join more than 3,000 other brands at the annual duty-free travel-retail meeting Oct. 2-7 at Canne’s Palais convention center (DFNI).

Yum agrees to sell $464M stake in China unit ahead of spinoff; Haier to brand cooktops and ovens in U.K.; plus more (possibly) bad news about the (allegedly) leaked KFC recipe

A news summary focused on 10 big employers; updated 8:41 a.m.

YUM has agreed to an advance sale of a $464 million slice of its China operations to a prominent Chinese deal maker and the financial affiliate of Chinese Internet giant Alibaba. The deal announced this morning is with Primavera Capital and Ant Financial Services Group. They will buy the shares at an 8% discount to the average price at which Yum China’s shares trade between 31 and 60 days after they’re distributed to Yum shareholders in a spinoff expected by Oct. 31. Yum China will start trading on the New York Stock Exchange as an independent company on Nov. 1 under the ticker symbol “YUMC.”

Greg Creed

Louisville-based Yum also announced Primavera founder Dr. Fred Hu, former chairman of Greater China at Goldman Sachs, will become Yum China’s non-executive board chairman. In a statement, Yum CEO Greg Creed said: “The investments from Primavera and Ant Financial in Yum China mark another important milestone in our plans to separate the China business and create a solid foundation for Yum China” (Wall Street Journal and press release).

GE APPLIANCES owner Haier is filling a hole in its product lineup: It will begin to sell Haier-branded gas cooktops, induction cooktops and ovens in the U.K., beginning next year. China-based Haier hasn’t yet released prices or dates when they might appear in other countries, however. Haier bought Louisville-based GE Appliances for $5.6 billion in June, in a bid to gain a stronger presence in the U.S., where it has only 1.1% of the appliance market. The Louisville company employs 6,000 workers at Appliance Park in the south end (CNET).

KFC: YouTube vlogger Hellthy Junk Food has done a blind taste taste of real KFC fried chicken vs. that purportedly leaked super-secret recipe of 11 herbs and spaces founder Harlan Sanders created. Posted Tuesday, the video’d results have already drawn 75,000 views — and they don’t bode well for the chain:

BROWN-FORMAN: Financial news site Seeking Alpha  Continue reading “Yum agrees to sell $464M stake in China unit ahead of spinoff; Haier to brand cooktops and ovens in U.K.; plus more (possibly) bad news about the (allegedly) leaked KFC recipe”

UPS pilots agree to 5-year pact with 15% pay hike; B-F dives 4% on quarterly results; plus former KFC store goes to pot — a missed opportunity, BTW

A news summary focused on 10 big employers; updated 6:05 p.m.

UPS‘s 2,500 pilots have overwhelmingly ratified a five-year labor contract with a bonus up to $60,000 per pilot, an immediate increase in base pay, and “more favorable” rest policies for overnight and international flights. The contract, which starts tomorrow, includes an immediate 14.7% pay hike, followed by annual increases of 3% over the life of the deal, the pilots association said today (WDRB). The shipper is Louisville’s single-biggest private employer, with 22,000 workers at its Louisville International Airport hub; more about UPS here.

Jack Daniel's Fire

BROWN-FORMAN said fiscal first-quarter revenue fell 5% to $856 million and earnings dropped 2% to 36 cents per share, citing weaker-than-expected results in emerging markets and a stronger U.S. dollar. The results were in line with analysts forecasts. The spirits giant also cited tough comparisons from a year ago on its flagship Jack Daniel’s, which lapped last year’s introduction of cinnamon-flavored Tennessee Fire in the U.S. Sales of Finlandia — the vodka brand rumored to be on the auction block — dropped 10% reported as results in Poland “stabilized somewhat” while they remained under pressure in Russia, given the “challenging economic backdrop” and ruble depreciation (press release). Brown-Forman has now filed its more detailed quarterly 10-Q report with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Both classes of the company’s stock fell more than 4% in the first 45 minutes of trading before recovering. The more actively traded non-voting B shares ended the day at $48.55, down $1.78, or 3.5%.

PIZZA HUT: The manager of a Pizza Hut outlet in Tokyo’s Koto Ward and three accomplices were arrested for allegedly beating the store’s deputy manager with a lead pipe and stealing 1.4 million yen (U.S. $13,500) from a safe on May 1. The victim suffered serious injuries including a fractured left arm which required more than two months to heal, police said (Tokyo Reporter).

TACO BELL and KFC: In Houston, police are investigating a smash-and-grab attempted burglary after someone crashed a vehicle into a combination Taco Bell-KFC restaurant on the city’s northeast side early today. The front doors and some of the interior were damaged, but it didn’t appear anything of value was taken (KHOU).

KFC Pittsfield
The former KFC location has already gone to weeds (heh).

And in Pittsfield, Mass., the appropriately named Happy Valley Compassion Center is proposing to open a medical marijuana dispensary in a former KFC restaurant building. Side note: It occurs to Boulevard that opening a KFC or any other fast-food outlet next to a marijuana store would be an excellent way to sell to customers with the munchies (Berkshire Eagle).

With its Extra Crispy sunscreen going for $202 on eBay, KFC gave away 3,000 more rare bottles; plus, starting today: a Snapchat lens for fans to ‘Colonel-ize’ themselves

A news summary, focused on 10 big employers; updated 10:22 a.m.

eBay KFC sunscreen 500
An Alabama eBay seller is accepting bids through Monday.

KFC might want to get into the sunscreen business permanently. The chain offered another 3,000 free bottles of its fried chicken-scented Colonel Sanders Extra Crispy Sunscreen yesterday — and emptied its inventory immediately — after the marketing stunt succeeded far more than the fast-food chain expected when it launched Monday. The second round began yesterday for U.S. residents-only, but the order form is already gone, replaced with a notice saying “incredible free offer all gone.”

KFC suncreen offer already goneInitially, the Yum unit promised 3,000 bottles on a first-come, first-served basis. “But the Colonel forgot to hit the ‘off switch,'” the company said in a press release, “which resulted in more than 9,000 bottles requested in about two hours, with 5,000 of those requests in the final 10 minutes.”

The bottles were so popular, at least four are now being auctioned on eBay, with one seller in Birmingham, Ala., showing a current high bid of $202.50 — the highest of 55 so far; offers are being accepted through Monday. Bids on the other three bottles by different sellers now stand at $51 to $97.

Meanwhile today, KFC introduced a Snapchat lens that let’s  fans “Colonel-ize” themselves — “glasses, bowtie, goatee, age spots and all” — in a campaign to duplicate the success sister chain Taco Bell had with a Cinco de Mayo promotion last spring.

KFC Snapchat lens
You can look like  this.

The Snapchat lens capitalizes on the popularity of the chain’s series of TV commercials portraying resurrected versions of very long-dead KFC founder Harland Sanders — including the current version, famously suntanned actor George Hamilton, who plays the “Extra Crispy” one.

“Starring as the Colonel in our advertising may be an exclusive gig, but on Saturday, anyone can be the Colonel on Snapchat,” the company says.

For Boulevard readers over the age of, say, 14, here’s a more technical explanation, no doubt supplied by the mobile app company itself: “Sponsored lenses offer Snapchatters the ability to apply real-time visual effects and sounds to their selfies, allowing brands to take part in communication on the platform in the most interactive, fun, and personal way.”

KFC is aiming for the same result Taco Bell scored last spring, when its Cinco de Mayo lens smashed Snapchat records. That campaign turned consumers’ heads into a giant taco shell, resulting in 224 million views in one day, according to AdWeek.

GE Hair logoGE: A former GE Appliances employee has sued General Electric, saying he was singled out, harassed and ultimately fired for being transgender. Mykel Mickens worked at Appliance Park from October 2014 to June of this year. He says co-workers turned on him when they discovered he once was a woman named Michelle. It appears his suit is against GE Appliances, rather than the parent company that owned the division until late June, when China-based Haier bought it for $5.6 billion. Last night, GE Appliances told WDRB that it doesn’t comment on matters in litigation, but said the company “embraces diversity and supports organizations like our LGBT group” (WDRB).

Former parent company GE’s gambit to morph into something akin to a Silicon Valley start-up began five years ago, when it quietly opened a software center in San Ramon, Calif., 24 miles east of San Francisco. The complex, home to GE Digital, now employs 1,400 people (New York Times).