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Saturday, September 02, 2006

Trend: Moms Rule

Focus groups and consumer panels are nothing new to foodservice, and they're nothing new to KFC, either. But KFC is focusing on a different demographic with its new advisory panel — made up of moms.

The 13-member panel, the first of its kind for the chain, was treated to an all-expenses-paid trip to Louisville last week for its initial meeting. It includes an author from California, a manager at a KFC restaurant in Florida and a Louisvillian with twins who runs her own event-planning company.

KFC, a subsidiary of Louisville-based Yum! Brands Inc., has organized polls and focus groups in the past, but company spokeswoman Laurie Schalow said there has never been a formal customer advisory board from the same demographic.

The group, called the KFC Moms Matter! Advisory Board, isn't unique. McDonald's Corp. launched a Global Moms Panel in May that includes customers from Germany, Argentina, England and the United States.

The groups have been formed amid growing concern that fast-food restaurants are contributing to obesity, especially in children. KFC, for example, was sued in June by a retired doctor from Washington, D.C., over its use of partially hydrogenated oil in its fried chicken and other items.

via Louisville Courier Journal

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