The restaurant said the addition to its traditional range of fried chicken products represented the biggest overhaul to its menu in 20 years.
The new pulled chicken range, available in KFC stores across UK and Ireland from 1 September, includes the Ultimate Burger, Chicken Twister Wrap and lower calorie Lil’ Wrap.
The meat - a blend of breast and dark meat - is tumbled in a dry spice rub including smoked paprika, clove and chilli, and then marinated in a Kentucky style molasses-based sauce before being slow cooked for almost two hours.
KFC innovation manager, Louise Direito said:“If Pulled Pork was the dish of 2014, then 2015 will become the year of Pulled Chicken. Influenced heavily by both our Kentucky heritage as well as the UK street food scene, the new range is a labour of love for us.
“We have been working tirelessly for the past 18 months to improve the variety of our menu and are delighted that we can now provide our customers with something completely unique to KFC.”
Pulled meat craze
The pulled chicken range was created with the help of food trends agency thefoodpeople, which took inspiration from British love affair with Americana and the huge growth in smokehouses, burger bars and rib shacks across the UK.
According to thefoodpeople, the Southern American BBQ style food market is worth over £68m in the UK, with pulled pork sales growing £10m since 2012.
“The popularity of American-inspired cuisine, BBQ and pulled meats comes from the contemporary BBQ craze that has swept the US and now the UK, evolving from a food trend into a food genre,” said Charles Banks, founder of thefoodpeople.
“Pulled meats and BBQ fit perfectly with where the UK food scene is right now - it’s about comfort, simplicity, low and slow cooking, the use of cheaper cuts of meat, social and convivial food and huge flavour delivery.
“We have worked with KFC to take inspiration from this genre and make it work for chicken, rather than pork and other meats more traditionally used in this style of cooking, to create a menu which caters for the growing number of consumers who are on the hunt for new dishes and culinary experiences.”