According to a report in the Daily Mail, the fast food giant spent £8m installing ovens in its outlets across the UK.
It had originally planned to start selling baked and grilled alternatives, alongside its deep-fried food in its restaurants.
However, a senior KFC executive admitted at the Public Health England annual conference in Warwick that it gave up after poor sales of three products: the Brazer grilled chicken sandwich that launched in 2011; the Rancher sandwich that was introduced the following year; and a ‘pulled chicken’ product that debuted in 2015.
“It didn't go brilliantly well,” says Jenny Packwood, head of brand engagement at KFC UK and Ireland.
“We tried and we failed to launch a non-fried product.”
Packwood says the brand also tried to make its french fries healthier by cutting them thicker, meaning there is a lower surface area to soak up oil.
“Frankly it has been controversial and we get a lot of grief about our fries,” she says.
The company has apparently had more success with a healthy rice box, which includes a single piece of fried chicken surrounded by salad and rice that comes in at less than 500 calories.
Elsewhere, KFC has recently began trailing vegan alternatives with more success.
In June it trialed a vegan ‘Imposter’ burger in select restaurants in London, Bristol and Birmingham - featuring a bespoke Quorn fillet with KFC’s famous ‘original recipe’ coating - that sold out within three days of going on sale.
Meanwhile in the US, the brand has introduced a Beyond Fried Chicken bucket at one of its Atlanta restaurants with a view to potentially rolling the concept out should it prove successful.