Taste Test: How Does Coles’ Fake KFC Compare To The Real Thing?

Taste Test: How Does Coles’ Fake KFC Compare To The Real Thing?

If you’ve shopped at a Coles supermarket recently, you may have noticed something suspiciously familiar in the frozen food section. From the trademark three-letter name and red-lined packaging to the ability to buy family-sized buckets, everything about “SFC” is a blatant rip-off of KFC. (Hell, they even have popcorn chicken!) Intrigued, we snapped up the company’s flagship Take Home Boneless Bucket to see how it compares. Read on for our verdict!

The SFC Take Home Boneless Bucket consists of six “Crispy Fillets” (which are clearly based on KFC’s crispy strips), eight “Southern-Style Dippers” (KFC chicken nuggets) and an assortment of “Pop Pops” (KFC popcorn chicken). You also get a handful of BBQ sauce sachets, with the whole thing coming in a dinky KFC-style bucket. Sadly, there are no frozen chips, so you’ll have to source those yourself.

The whole package comes in at a rather hefty $16.50, which isn’t much cheaper than a freshly cooked family meal from KFC. With that said, Coles regularly runs specials on its frozen food range: we only ended up paying around $8 (which in hindsight, was still way too much).

The SFC Take Home Boneless Bucket claims to be made with Australian chicken breast, a fact that is proudly emblazoned on the box. However, a closer look at the ingredients list tells a slightly different story.

Taste Test: How Does Coles’ Fake KFC Compare To The Real Thing?

Each piece is made from “reformed” chicken, which is rarely a good sign. Indeed, less than 50 percent is actual chicken meat, with the rest made up of water, salt and “coating” which consists of wheat flour, vegetable oil, salt, wheat starch pepper, yeast extract, dextrose, onion, oregano, nutmeg, paprika extract and raising agents (E450, E500).

The instructions on the back of the bucket recommended using an oven, but what’s that about, eh? To get the full KFC experience, I decided to test half in the deep fryer, with the rest going in the oven as instructed. I also fried up some chips because a KFC meal clearly demands it.

The cooking process was no different to any other frozen meat product. Frying took around ten minutes while the oven-cooking process clocked in at three-quarters of an hour. Once everything was good to go, I chucked it all back into the included bucket. (This probably isn’t advisable considering it was used to store raw chicken. But whatevs. I’m still here.)

Taste Test: How Does Coles’ Fake KFC Compare To The Real Thing?

So how did it taste? In a word: terrible. Have you ever had dinner at a ghastly hotel pub where the fish fingers, chicken nuggets and schnitzel all tasted exactly the same? That’s what the SFC Take Home Boneless Bucket reminded me of. Everything has that grainy, synthetic taste that ultra-budget mince meat suffers from.

The oven-baked and deep-fried versions were equally awful. I abandoned the meal after one chicken strip and a handful of nuggets. Life’s too short for “chicken” that tastes this cheap.

Say what you will about KFC; at least the company uses fresh, high-quality chicken for the asking price. We witnessed this first-hand during a tour of one of its kitchens: its breast fillets are unfrozen and freshly battered in store.

Taste Test: How Does Coles’ Fake KFC Compare To The Real Thing?

By contrast, SFC’s boneless offerings are just nasty. You’d be vastly better off flouring your own chicken fillets and popping them in the fryer. Or just go to KFC.

Taste Verdict: 2/10


  • Ugh. Thanks for taking one for the team and sparing the rest of us. I was mildly interested in trying some of the SFC offerings but I’m definitely not anymore.

    • I keep putting them on the shopping list because they were always advertised at 1/2 price or some other discounted price. I kept forgetting or ignoring them when I was in-store. I am glad I did.

  • I tried it. Didn’t mind it. On special it’s as good/bad as any other frozen meal.

    Also, I love this:
    This probably isn’t advisable considering it was used to store raw chicken. But whatevs. I’m still here.

    Australian commando/scientist Dr Jack Barnes says: “SCIENCE IS NOT FOR PUSSIES.”

  • I have eaten it before…. tastes pretty much as you would expect microwaved nuggets to taste. I didn’t expect anything different so I wasn’t disappointed.

  • I tried the nuggets the other day, I microwaved them because I’m lazy when it comes to frozen food and they were terrible, but I wasn’t expecting much so it wasn’t a disappointment.

  • i fucking hate reformed chicken. especially when its in the form of a Schnitzel at a pub. that shit is not on!!

      • Hey poita, dead right mate-in fact this whole thing sounds like it has been written by a KFC executive actually. Just buy a half kilo of fresh chicken breast fillet (about $4 or $5 ) , cut it into strips or nuggets of your own choosing, moisten, dip in equal mix of plain flour/Crumb-in-one/shake of pepper and shallow fry quickly in hot canola oil. Magic- KFC will taste like I’d imagine week old road kill would after that!!

  • Tried this a while ago when they were ‘new’ and it was on sale so why not. Big mistake, didn’t enjoy this, I probably didn’t even use the included sauce satchels since I didn’t get that far into it.

  • I agree it is awful, tasteless and a waste of money, I know it’s a blatant rip of KFC but they could have made some kind of effort!

  • I’ve tried these too, the meat is tasteless, all you can taste is the sub-par coating which predominately tastes like salt and pepper. Better off getting Chickadee/Ingham stuff.

  • We are fortunate in having a kitchen, a cook-top, an oven, pots and pans, crockery and cutlery and a refrigerator in which we keep fresh, wholesome food used, to prepare a large variety of delicious meals
    Take-away food is mass-produced garbage, and in reality does not even resemble the ‘pretty’ pictures used in advertising.

  • And to make space for this crap in the freezers, they stopped carrying one of my sons favourite foods that I can’t find anywhere else (he has Aspergers, so is ridiculously difficult to cook for).

  • I’m wondering why KFC aren’t suing Coles for copyright and trademark infringement over the labelling and presentation…

  • 2/10 is generous. The whole family rejected them. The super cheap gristly dim sims are nicer – and that’s no easy benchmark to beat.

  • HaHa, really like the metaphor “at a ghastly hotel pub where the fish fingers, chicken nuggets and schnitzel all tasted exactly the same”. I’ve tried that SFC, and it tastes extremely evil…

  • I agree that the taste is a letdown but to say that “less than 50% is actual chicken meat” is a slightly unfair criticism. Have a look at any battered or coated chicken or fish product in the supermarket – they nearly all contain less than 55% meat.
    The SFC Bargain Box is the best of a bad lot, IMO, because it’s real, not formed, chicken pieces.

  • Perhaps (and I’m probably just being paranoid here) Coles is trying to subconsciously turn everyone off KFC so that their deli cooked or other branded chicken products get a boost.

  • This stuff was awful. I tried the chicken pieces and I reckon the cardboard box it came would’ve had more flavour. The birds must be really young as there was not a lot of meat and a hell of a lot of bones. Or they could be using pigeons.

  • I haven’t tried the boneless bucket, but I have tried the Popcorn Chicken and the bone-in pieces. The bone in ones are quite nice, but they are disappointingly small and bland compared to KFC. Popcorn chicken was also quite nice (less well-spiced but nicer “chicken”), I haven’t had KFC popcorn chicken in ages, but I don’t think it was amazing either.

    KFC bone in 8/10
    SFC bone in 5/10
    SFC popcorn 5/10
    Macca’s popcorn 4/10 IIRC
    KFC popcorn ?/10

  • Yes, well….judging from the language you chose to indicate your personal revulsion for such foods, you are obviously a classy and refined individual who wouldn’t go near such unpretentious grub. Ummm…perhaps not. On second thoughts, think I will stick to eating schnitty after all… it may not be gourmet but I think bad taste trumps bad manners any day!

  • The only people eating this poopie are next years biggest loser contestants.
    Capitalism gets’em fat, and morons glued to the box eating tv dinners and ice cream brings’em back! Its win, win!

  • Good review, I recently had KFC for the first time in years. It was fresh and tasted good. I probably would have tried the SFC had I seen it in Coles. Thanks for the heads up I will stick to the real thing.

  • Hmm… 50% chicken eh.. The amazing thing is real chicken is actually really easy to cook. I’ve got chicken for dinner tonight, throw it in the slow cooker with another few things in the morning and it’s ready for dinner, just like take away….except without the chips 🙁

  • What is it that they discontinued? I do ordering for a few places & I’ve been able to source some hard-to-find items for other people in the past. If you let me know what you’re looking for I may be able to find it through one of the wholesale companies I deal with. If I find it I’ll give you their details so you can decide if the minimum order is worth it for you (it’s normally about $50 minimum which means you need some freezer space!).

  • 2 stars out of 10 is being generous. This SFC so called chicken is truly awful, vile stuff. But then virtually all prepared dinners sold in Aussie supermarkets are revolting garbage. Compared to products sold in Canadian and American supermarkets, Australian products are disgusting.

  • I feel this was an unnecessarily scathing review. I ate SFC while reading your argument, and it was probably the best frozen chicken I’ve ever tasted. I have no doubt you’re in KFC’s pocket. Likewise, you’re probably an awful cook with a mediocre oven. The chicken I just ate was crispy, well seasoned, and juicy, with quality meat.

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!