#McFailure: Arch-Rivals Compete For Fried Chicken Fans

Ten years ago, there was only one chain that dominated the fried chicken market and even conquered the international fast-food landscape — Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Today, KFC faces major competition. Fast-food chains such as Raising Cane’s and Chick-fil-A have added direct competition to KFC — even casual dining restaurant Buffalo Wild Wings offers competitive prices.

However, fast-food giant McDonald’s recently attempted to join the fried chicken competition and introduced its newest product: Mighty Wings. Priced at three wings for $3.69, five wings for $5.59 and 10 wings for $9.69, the wings were priced above the industry standard.

Image courtesy of McDonalds.com.

Image courtesy of McDonalds.com

McDonald’s heavily promoted its Mighty Wings with television and print advertising, as well as public relations. The following advertisement aired during NFL season, incorporating the humor from the infamous “bad lip reading” trend to attract its Millennial audience.

However, the Mighty Wings failed to sell and more than 10 million pounds of chicken wings are left in McDonald’s inventory. Now, the fast-food chain is left to sell its wings at a discount of three wings for $2.99.

“Mighty Wings are proving once again that we can’t sell premium items in large numbers because we still have the Dollar Menu,” said a McDonald’s franchisee in an anonymous survey.

What the poor sales represented was the lack of research that McDonald’s failed to execute prior to the roll out of the Mighty Wings. Had the Golden Arches conducted primary research of its consumers and what they would be willing to pay for in terms of wings, the restaurants may not have suffered #McFailure.

If McDonald’s were to reintroduce its Mighty Wings, how could they improve the campaign? What preliminary research would be useful? Overall, what do you think makes fried chicken chains, such as KFC, Raising Cane’s and Chick-fil-A, successful?

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