KFC’s Zinger: The World-Famous Chicken Sandwich Is Going to Space

Ever since humans have gazed at the stars, we have had one singular dream: to get a spicy chicken sandwich up there. Finally, KFC and World View are realizing that eternal human dream. KFC has the groundbreaking spicy chicken sandwich, the Zinger. World View has the groundbreaking technology, the Stratollite. Stratollites are amazing high-altitude balloons that can execute a variety of flight profiles, which gives them the ability to do all sorts of amazing things. Things, like, beyond putting spicy chicken into space. Read more about it below.

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A world-shaking convergence of spaceflight and fried chicken history is upon us.

Ever since the beginning of history, humankind has looked skyward and dreamed of one day taking its place among the stars. The story of flight has taken us from Leonardo da Vinci’s workshop to the Wright brothers’ trials at Kitty Hawk, straight through to the dawn of the Space Age at Cape Canaveral. Those missions into space are the stuff of legends: Mercury. Gemini. Apollo. Skylab. The Space Shuttle. The International Space Station.

 

And now . . . Zinger 1.

 

KFC and World View are joining forces to embark on the greatest fried chicken adventure since Zinger 1 Mission Commander Colonel Harland Sanders founded KFC in 1930 and brought his Hard Way of making delicious fried chicken to the world.

 

KFC’s world-famous Zinger chicken sandwich will take flight aboard the longest controlled stratospheric balloon flight with a commercial payload in history. It will also be the first-ever multi-day mission of the World View Stratollite flight system.

 

“Folks who are coming along for the ride and are going to be watching it, they’re actually going to be seeing real aerospace engineering and, to some degree, spaceflight history in the making,” World View CEO Jane Poynter said.

 

Unlike other high-altitude balloons, Stratollites can execute an array of flight profiles—from circling the Earth to holding position over a specific location—and maintain a position over a desired area for days, weeks, and even months.

 

Nothing against rockets, but the Zinger launch will show the world there’s more than one way to get payloads to and from space. And what cargo is as precious as a hand-breaded, 100% chicken breast filet, served with crisp lettuce and the Colonel’s mayo on a toasted sesame-seed bun?

 

“We’re excited to be the ones pushing spicy, crispy chicken sandwich space travel forward,” said Kevin Hochman, KFC U.S. president. “But in all seriousness, we’re proud to support World View’s commitment to advancing space research and trust them to take our world-famous Zinger sandwich to space.”

 

Lifting the world’s most famous fried chicken sandwich into the stratosphere is a crowning feat in itself, but Stratollites have enormous as-yet unrealized potential. They could serve as stationary Wi-Fi hubs in remote or undeveloped areas that may not have existing internet access, or they could help monitor ongoing crisis situations from previously inaccessible vantage points. Future flights could be used for disaster preparedness and response—from weather predictions to monitoring disaster events to helping first responders with communications and surveying capabilities.

 

“The Stratollite was created to deliver meaningful access to space for all,” said Taber MacCallum, World View cofounder and chief technology officer. “This mission offers edge-of-space access to KFC, allowing them to embark upon a one-of-a-kind marketing experiment, while we get to pursue our maiden multi-day Stratollite shakedown cruise and open unprecedented access to the stratosphere. It’s a double win.”

 

We completely agree.

 

It’s one spicy, crispy fried chicken sandwich for all. One giant leap for fried chickenkind.

Introducing KFC’s Zinger: The World-Famous Chicken Sandwich

With not even a sliver of exaggeration, I pronounce my Zinger chicken sandwich to be world famous. How could it not be? For years the Zinger has been celebrated all over the world, from India to France to other countries that won’t fit here in this small space. My freshly prepared chicken filet is double hand-breaded; fried to a golden-brown color; and served with lettuce and mayonnaise on a toasted bun. Delicious! And now it’s finally here in America! Wait a second. That’s where you are, isn’t it?

 

The world-famous Zinger is already on KFC menus in more than 120 countries. In fact, more Zingers are sold in the UK, India, and Australia than anywhere else in the world. And, boy, the Aussies are stoked about the KFC Zinger—to the tune of more than 22 million Zingers each year. That’s almost one spicy chicken sandwich for every person Down Under! Pretty amazing for a sandwich whose original version debuted at KFCs in Trinidad and Tobago in 1984.

 

Did we mention the Zinger is double-breaded by hand, freshly prepared, in-house? Not space-breaded on some faraway chicken planet or mind-breaded with some weird chicken telekinesis or robot-breaded on some assembly-line conveyor belt. Or any other cockamamie way a piece of chicken might be breaded.

 

No shortcuts, people. We’re not your run-of-the-mill “burger boys.” We’re obsessed with superior fried chicken. It’s why we can offer the ultimate fried chicken sandwich. It’s also why we took our time perfecting the Zinger before bringing it to America. We spent two years retraining our employees and upgrading our equipment in preparation for launching the Zinger in the Land of the Free on April 24.

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Like all chicken at KFC, the Zinger sandwich stands out because we make it the Hard Way. Maybe we forgot to mention that every Zinger is freshly prepared, in-house, double-breaded by hand by trained cooks in every KFC kitchen. I guess we did say that already, but it’s a point worth driving home. And it’s why we’re sure you’ll go wild for the new spicy, crispy Zinger sandwich.

 

We believe in superior fried chicken, and that includes fried chicken sandwiches too.

 

For all Americans. For all humanity.

For Your Bucket List Consideration: A Passport to KFC Specialties Around the Globe

KFC menus in different countries offer a lot more than fried chicken. Like rice bowls in India and Singapore. Or the Chizza, a fried chicken pizza. Or the Colonel’s Christmas Burger. Or the Zinger sandwich. Rice bowls? Chicken pizza? What is going on in these countries? Delicious food, that’s what. Read more about it below.

 

From humble beginnings, Harland Sanders’ Original Recipe® fried chicken has become world famous. What started as one man selling fried chicken from a service station in Kentucky has grown into a global franchise with tens of thousands of restaurants. And perhaps much to the Colonel’s surprise, his face has become one of the most recognizable in the world.

 

One-quarter of KFC restaurants are located in the Unites States. The other 75% are located across the globe in over 100 countries and territories. Surely, this worldwide popularity must mean KFC restaurants have a formula: a tried-and-true menu consisting of only KFC classics.

 

But just as KFC expanded outside the United States, KFC’s menu expanded beyond the American version of fried chicken. KFC menus around the globe feature items unknown in the United States, as well as meals to meet the dietary restrictions and preferences of restaurant-goers in specific locales.

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In countries as far flung as Australia, the UAE, and Canada, KFC customers can order soft-serve ice cream and enjoy blended, icy smoothie drinks called Krushers (flavors include Strawberry Lush, Kookies N Cream, and Chocopeanut Bolt). The KFC rice bowl is a staple on the KFC menu in India and Singapore, which features curry rice and spicy sambal.

 

In Japan, KFC is the place to be at Christmas. Although it’s not a national holiday there, many Japanese have adopted the custom of eating a Christmas chicken dinner, complete with cake and champagne. Anticipation of KFC’s Christmas menu is so great that preorders are taken in October, with the many who didn’t order ahead queuing up outside KFC restaurants on Christmas Eve.

 

KFC’s menu in the Middle East and North Africa is 100% halal, and KFC has tested sales of halal meat in many more outlets around the globe. In Israel, KFC replaced its milk-powder chicken coating with an identical kosher soy-powder coating, making all KFC restaurants in Israel kosher.

 

Special to the Philippines, the limited-time KFC Double Down Dog sandwich featured a hot dog covered in cheese and fitted into a bun-size piece of fried chicken. Now available in Singapore is the Chizza, a pizza with a fried chicken crust topped with tomato sauce, cheese, pepperoni, pineapple, and green peppers.

 

In the United Kingdom and Ireland, the newly-introduced-for-2016 Colonel’s Christmas Burger has an Original Recipe chicken breast, crispy hash brown, cheese, lettuce, cranberry sauce, and sage and onion stuffing mayonnaise on a sesame-seed bun.

 

One very popular item on KFC menus worldwide is the famous Zinger sandwich (aka the Zinger burger in a handful of countries). This spicy chicken sandwich has garnered a huge following all around the world. It’s never been available nationally in the United States, but the wait may soon be over—as the Zinger is being tested in the States! Americans may soon be able to experience the delicious sandwich and see for themselves what the hype is all about.

KFC Joins the Rush for Georgia Gold Flavor

We’ve struck gold, folks. Not the precious metal, but a new precious recipe called Georgia Gold: a delicious honey mustard BBQ sauce that goes perfect on our famous fried chicken. This sweet and tangy triumph will be available soon at a KFC near you as tenders, bone-in chicken, or Chicken Littles®. And that’s what gold rush prospectors would call a bonanza.

 

Little-known fact: The second gold rush in the entire US of A occurred in Georgia in the late 1820s, more than a decade before the great California Gold Rush. Georgia is historically known for another type of gold: a golden, honey mustard–based BBQ tradition that’s as delicious as it is specific to the Peach State.

00_highlight_sentence_georgiagold_40kIt’s so tasty and unique that KFC created its own take on the regional specialty: Georgia Gold Chicken, available in tenders, bone-in chicken, Chicken Littles®, and wings, with a sweet and tangy honey mustard sauce. This is KFC’s second new flavor after Nashville Hot Chicken—a hard act to follow—and it’s really pulling its weight.

 

Although the details of the Georgia Gold Rush are a bit unclear, it’s believed that by the 1830s most of the state’s gold had been mined and there was little left to discover. Fortunately, there’ll be no shortage of KFC’s Georgia Gold Chicken, but the rush to stake your claim on this bold, golden new flavor begins January 30. So get you and your gold pan over to a local KFC restaurant then to enjoy this little piece of Georgia. No mining required!

A Spicy, Smoky Sound Inspired by a Spicy, Smoky Taste

At long last, the thing you have been pining for is here. In keeping with Colonel tradition, a new limited-edition lathe-cut record.

 

KFC’s beloved Nashville Hot Chicken is back! And to commemorate its glorious return, we decided to cut an album, naturally.

 

But really, this isn’t as weird as it seems. One of Colonel Sanders’ many passions—alongside making chicken, selling chicken, and dressing in his Sunday best—was producing albums. In fact, the Colonel made six records in his lifetime, including Christmas Eve with Colonel Sanders, Christmas Day with Colonel Sanders, and, of course, Colonel Sanders’ Tijuana Picnic. So to honor the Colonel’s love of vinyl and celebrate Nashville Hot Chicken, we made a beautiful EP inspired by Nashville Hot’s signature spicy, smoky flavor.

Nashville Hot’s Signature Spicy, Smoky Flavor Inspired Record

KFC teamed up with Saturday Night Live alum and professional cool person Fred Armisen, who wrote and performed the album’s two tracks. “C-O-L-O-N-E-L” is the smoky track, inspired by Nashville Hot’s smoked paprika taste. And the dance-y “Nashville-Centric Boogie” represents Nashville Hot’s spicy cayenne kick.

 

The “spicy/smoky” theme extends to the album art, as well, created by esteemed artist Church of Type. In addition to sharing the Colonel’s birthplace of Corbin, Kentucky, Church of Type also likes doing things the Hard Way—the album’s art was created through authentic letterpressing, a process in which each letter and graphic is hand-carved and compiled to create the full design. So this album was lovingly hand-prepared, just like KFC chicken.

 

The KFC Nashville Hot album drops, as the kids say, on December 12, in a super-limited release. Find record store locations and listen here. Get it and Nashville Hot Chicken while they’re hot!

Colonel Sanders: Real American Icon

Colonel Sanders was a real living person who invented KFC. The real Colonel was larger than life, and has recently been played by several super-famous actors, which is why it can be hard to believe he existed. Well you better believe it pal, because he existed and he was awesome. Read all about his adventures below.

 

During his tenure as KFC proprietor and founder, and world’s greatest chicken salesman, Colonel Sanders was a regular household name, appearing in commercials, recording albums with his mandolin band, and generally being a national treasure. But in the years following his death in 1980, younger folks only saw the Colonel’s illustrated face on KFC buckets and restaurants. To a newer generation of fried chicken lovers, the Colonel was considered a mascot and a symbol of KFC, and not a real person who actually wore a white woolen suit and string tie every day. Today, when you start typing “is Colonel” into a Google search bar, “is Colonel Sanders real?” is the second suggested phrase that pops up, right after “is Colonel Sanders related to Bernie Sanders?” (The answer to that one is no.) Considering the extraordinary life Colonel Sanders lived, it’s no surprise that his persona could take on a mythical, fairy-tale quality. But like our chicken, Colonel Sanders was 100% real and 100% awesome.

Like our chicken, Colonel Sanders was 100% real and 100% awesome.

Here are the details of his amazing life:

  • Colonel Harland David Sanders was born September 9, 1890, in Henryville, Indiana.
  • He quit school in the sixth grade to earn money for his mother, brother, and sister after his father died.
  • In 1906, at 16 years old, he lied about his age so he could enlist in the army.
  • He started working for the railways in 1907, first as a blacksmith and then as a fireman.
  • From 1920 to 1930, Sanders started a ferryboat company, worked as an insurance salesman, a lighting salesman, a lawyer, a tire salesman, an obstetrician, and a secretary at the Chamber of Commerce in Indiana.
  • In 1930, he opened a service station and added fried chicken to the menu.
  • Governor Ruby Laffoon loved Sanders’ chicken so much that he made Sanders a Kentucky Colonel.
  • The Colonel didn’t begin franchising his restaurant until 1955, when he was 65 years old.
  • After selling the franchise in 1964, Colonel Sanders remained the company’s symbol. He visited KFC restaurants into his later years, inspecting the quality of the food and sometimes tossing gravy on the floor if it didn’t meet his high standards.
  • Sanders was diagnosed with acute leukemia in June 1980 and died of pneumonia in Louisville, Kentucky, on December 16, 1980 at the age of 90.
  • The Colonel remained active until the month before his death, appearing before crowds in his signature white woolen suit and string tie, which he was also buried in. His body was laid in state in the rotunda of the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort. More than 1,000 people attended the beloved Colonel’s funeral.

 

Whew. So, was Colonel Sanders real? You bet. As you can see, his life was too unusual and fascinating to be fiction. The Colonel was a real, self-made man whose success symbolizes the promise of the American Dream. Though no longer with us, the Colonel’s very real spirit lives on in anyone who values hard work, grit, self-determination, and delicious fried chicken made the Hard Way.

 

Colonel Harland Sanders when he was a baby
Colonel Harland Sanders when he was a baby.

 

Harland Sanders when he was young
Harland Sanders when he was young.

 

Colonel Sanders working for Southern Railroad
Colonel Sanders working for Southern Railroad

 

Colonel Sanders visiting a Kentucky horse farm
Colonel Sanders visiting a Kentucky horse farm.

 

Colonel Sanders inspecting new KFC restaurant
Colonel Sanders inspecting new KFC restaurant

 

Colonel Harland Sanders celebrating his birthday
Colonel Harland Sanders celebrating his birthday.

 

Colonel Sanders celebrating his birthday in Corbin Kentucky
Colonel Sanders celebrating his birthday in Corbin Kentucky.

 

Colonel Harland Sanders visits Cairo.
Colonel Harland Sanders visits Cairo.

The Colonel’s Secret Blend of 11 Herbs and Spices

One of the biggest trade secrets in the world is my 11 herbs & spices for my Original Recipe chicken. There is simply no way I am going to let it fall into the hands of my lazy imitators, so I have taken a lot of intense precautions to ensure it never does. You can read the specifics of how you will never be able to steal it below.  

 

What is it about KFC Original Recipe chicken that makes you lick your fingers, smack your lips, and reach for the next piece? Well, it’s the crisp skin and juicy meat in every bite created by the once-patented pressure-frying process, as well as the Colonel’s secret blend of 11 herbs and spices.

 

Colonel Sanders’ Original Recipe® is a cornerstone of Kentucky Fried Chicken, and it ranks among America’s most valuable trade secrets. It’s so valuable that KFC recently built a brand-new, high-tech home for the Colonel’s handwritten Original Recipe from 1940. It’s stored in a digital safe that weighs more than 770 pounds and is encased in two feet of concrete with a 24-hour video and motion-detection surveillance system.

 

Not even the company that produces the blend knows the exact formulation.

 

And the secret blend of KFC’s 11 herbs and spices is so secret that not even the company that produces the blend knows the exact formulation. The spice blend is shipped from different locations in the United States before the final blending. We’ve got to keep it a secret from those imitators creating KFC copycat recipes that just don’t come close to the real deal.

 

Now, that’s not the easy way to season your chicken. In fact, it’s the Hard Way. But we believe in hard work, attention to detail, and going the extra mile.

KFC says “Chicken, Chicken, Chicken.” The real history of the KFC name change.

Modern myths are weird. One of them says that we changed our name to KFC because we couldn’t use the word “chicken” anymore. Absurd. Chicken, chicken, chicken. See? We are still called Kentucky Fried Chicken; we started using KFC ’cause it was fewer syllables. Continue reading below to have this myth further dispelled.

 

In 1991, Kentucky Fried Chicken decided on a name change to KFC. Why, after 39 successful years, would a world-famous restaurant chain change its name?

 

Maybe because KFC is just easier to say with your mouth full. Or maybe KFC fits better on signs. In reality, we wanted to let our customers know that we had more for them to enjoy than just fried chicken, and many were already calling us KFC, as it was much easier to say.

 

Truth is, we didn’t do a great job at explaining the KFC name change, which left the door open for folks to get creative with the reason. And boy did they! Shortly after the name change, an email chain letter—it was 1991, remember—began to spread the rumor that Kentucky Fried Chicken used genetically modified chickens and was forced to remove the word “chicken” from its name.

KFC always used 100% real chicken

We can put those rumors to rest. We’ve always used 100% real chicken. Our chickens come from American family farms—the same farms that supply the brands you would buy at any grocery store—and are raised without artificial hormones or steroids, which is a federal regulation.

 

So let’s get straight to the point: Can KFC say “chicken”? We’re still Kentucky Fried Chicken®, registered trademark and all. We continue to show our pride in fried and follow the Colonel’s high standards for frying chicken, even after 75 years. Not only can KFC definitely say “chicken,” KFC means the world’s best fried chicken.