KFC is bringing its most outrageous international item to the US

Those with some knowledge of fast-food history will remember the chaos that erupted when Yum! Brands  (YUM) -owned chain Kentucky Fried Chicken released the Double Down back in 2010.

As the artery-clogging item came out in the spring, the “sandwich” in which bread has been replaced two pieces of fried chicken fillet used to hold bacon, cheese, and a mayo-style sauce was initially thought to be an April Fool’s Day joke but very quickly gained a cult following. While the item has not been sold in the U.S. for years, it still periodically appears in petitions clamoring for its return while some have even tattooed its image on their arms and chests.

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Back in  2015, KFC’s branch in the Philippines surprised fans with another menu item in which the bread has been swapped for chicken. The Chizza tops two pieces of fried chicken with marinara sauce, melted mozzarella cheese and pepperoni.

The KFC Chizza was initially launched by the chain’s Philippines branch.

Yum! Brands

KFC talks of ‘collaboration’ between fried chicken and pizza coming soon

After the product proved popular and eventually found its way to other countries such as South Korea, Thailand, Germany and Spain, KFC announced that it would also be bringing it to the U.S. market this spring. 

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The Chizza will be sold at KFC locations across the U.S. starting from Feb. 28 for a limited time. Fans can try it alone for $9.99 or as part of a combo with fries and a soft drink for $12.99. A smaller version made with only one piece of fried chicken will also be available for $5.99.

“Fried chicken and pizza collaborated to create something even better – the Chizza,” Nick Chavez, who heads marketing for KFC USA, said in a statement. “The fan-favorite mashup is finally available in the U.S. after making its way around the world – try it while you can!”

The Chizza is ‘part of a long tradition of slightly outrageous products’

Timed with the new menu item and the approach of summer, KFC is also bringing back the Blackberry Lemonade it launched alongside the limited-edition BBQ Chicken Sandwich a year ago. The sweet beverage will also be available as one of the drinks one can get alongside the Chizza in KFC’s combo meal.

Just as with the Double Down, the Chizza is a product meant to capture social media attention with its nonstandard premise and attract those who cannot help but wonder how something that greasy would taste.

At the start of 2024, KFC also launched the Smash’d Potato Bowl in which its Secret Recipe Fries are topped with ingredients such as mashed potatoes, bacon crumbles, cheese sauce and, in some cases, even some chicken nuggets. The nationwide rollout was preceded by a trial run in Pittsburgh that showed KFC its customers have an appetite for such calorie-dense items.

“These are part of a long tradition of companies creating new, slightly outrageous, fast food and snack food combinations — more cheese, more meat, more layers,” food historian Ashley Rose Young told BBC back in 2019.

In the Asian and European countries that have been selling the Chizza, customers routinely share images of the item on social media more than any other item.

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