Canadians gobble 2 million Double Downs - again

Tuesday 12 July 2011 00:00

By the time KFC's limited promotion ends in a few days, Canadians will have consumed about two million Double Down sandwiches in less than two months - about the same number that made the controversial bun-less sandwich the chain's most successful product launch in their history.

Though the chain had no plans to bring the sandwich to Canada when it launched in the US last year, viral online campaigns driven by hungry Canadians persuaded the chain otherwise.

When it debuted in Canada last fall, record-setting sales made it the best-selling new product in the company's history. In the first 10 days of its launch, the fast-food chain sold more than 350,000 sandwiches.

The concoction - two fried pieces of Original Recipe chicken, bacon, and processed Pepper Jack cheese - was not without its controversies, however, as it packed 540 calories, 30 g of fat and 1,740 mg of sodium, setting off alarm bells among nutritionists and dieticians.

This year's version clocked in at 490 calories, 28 g of fat and 1,570 mg of sodium.

Meanwhile, dietary guidelines generally recommend that adults consume no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day.

In an interview with online industry publication, senior marketing director David Vivenes of Yum! Restaurants Canada which owns the KFC brand, also noted that sales were particularly strong in Western Canada.

Despite its popularity, Vivenes said the chain does not plan to make the sandwich a permanent menu item.

Last year Denny's hopped on the extreme sandwich wagon when it amped up their ordinary grilled cheese by stuffing it with deep-fried mozzarella sticks and serving it with a side of marinara sauce.

Carl's Jr. also started testing out a foot-long cheeseburger last year.

The Double Down has also reached KFC locations in the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand.

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