Takeaway Truth is an occasional Lifehacker feature where we compare marketing images against what you actually get served. Today: KFC's Colonel Potato & Chicken 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 Colonel Potato & Chicken Pie marks KFC's second foray into pie making, following on from the Zinger Pie which we reviewed last year.
KFC is still playing coy with its pastry products — the new potato offering is only being offered in a handful of stores; just like its predecessor (you can also get the resurrected Zinger pie from the same outlets).
Indeed, the whole thing is being kept unusually hush-hush, with no mention of the pie on KFC's website or Facebook page. This has to be one of the lengthiest fast food trial runs in living memory.
We asked KFC which outlets the product can currently be purchased from and received this complete non-answer:
"We produce hundreds of concepts for new products each year and only the very best make it to KFC restaurants for our consumers to enjoy."
Er, thanks guys. Personally, we think KFC should just come of the pie tin with all guns blazing. All this faffing about implies a lack of confident in the product. (On a side note, the pie actually tastes pretty good: the chicken pieces are small yet flavoursome and the mash is appropriately fluffy. For $3.95, it's not a bad offering.)
So how does the pie compare to the marketing image? The fact that KFC has consciously avoided promotion of this product has left us in a bit of a pickle. How do you judge the accuracy of an advertisement when you can't actually find one? We scoured Google Image, YouTube and KFC's various social media platforms and came up with nothing.
Thankfully, there was a single poster in store where we purchased the pie, which is where the below snap came from. The real pie is the one on the right:
We feel compelled to point out that none of the filling actually fell out in the above photo: that's just what our pie looked like. I think you'll agree that this is a bit rubbish.
On the plus side, the pie looks reasonably faithful on the outside — the pastry is a pretty close match to the poster, although the advertising image does seem to have a thicker lid.
All in all, the KFC Colonel Potato & Chicken Pie is about on par with its Zinger predecessor — maybe when it finally gets released nationally they'll get it right.
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.