Takeaway Truth is an occasional Lifehacker feature where we compare marketing images against what you actually get served. Today: KFC's Zinger Pie.
Fast food restaurants have been known to gild the lily when it comes to accurate depictions of their menu items. Far too often, the mouth-watering feast on the poster turns out to be a limp and oily morsel. In a bid to keep the fry-jockey overlords honest, we've decided to document the reality of fast food — it was either that, or go postal like Michael Douglas in Falling Down.
The KFC Zinger Pie is a limited-edition chicken pie marinated in Zinger spices and gravy. Currently, the pie is only being offered at select KFC outlets as part of a trial run, with plans for a wider release later in the year.
In fact, the trial run is so small that no marketing images have been released online in Australia (the above advert is actually the New Zealand version — note the stars on the flag).
We contacted KFC and asked them if they could send over some Australian press assets. Amusingly, the representative we spoke to immediately asked us whether the image was for a Takeaway Truth article — Australia's fast food juggernauts appear to be taking notice of this series.
After a few back-and-forth phone calls, we were told that no press images for the KFC Zinger Pie exist:
"The Zinger Pie is currently being trialed in a small number of stores in New South Wales. We don’t have any advertising scheduled for the product as it is still in trial, so we don’t have any advertisement images to share with you."
Undeterred, we headed into our local store and took a photo of the official poster. (It was a good excuse to buy another Zinger Pie which are actually quite spicy and delicious).
Below is the Zinger Pie as it appears on KFC's poster:
And here's what we got served:
And here's a side-by-side comparison:
As you can see, the KFC Zinger Pie looks pretty good on the outside — the pastry is a close match to the poster with the same puffed lid and crispy, golden appearance. Admittedly, it's pretty difficult to stuff up a pie shell but the baker did a good job nonetheless.
The innards aren't nearly as impressive however. The poster led us to believe that we would be getting thick chunks of white meat interspersed with sinfully dark gravy. Instead, we got a watery concoction of sauce and chicken that almost looked minced. In the words of Gizmodo editor Luke Hopewell: "It looks like someone hollowed out the pie and sicked up in it — all that's missing are the bits of corn."
While it's not the worst Takeaway Truth we've encountered, the KFC Zinger Pie isn't particularly accurate — especially on the inside. And isn't that what really counts?
Truth Rating: 6/10
Which fast food franchise or menu item would you like us to tackle next? Let us know in the comments section below.