Oprah has, finally, turned her formidable taste-making powers to chicken. She's promoting KFC's new grilled chicken, meaning she's giving it away to every! Person! In! America!
The online coupon is good for two pieces of grilled chicken, two sides and a biscuit. You can get the coupon online until 9:59 Central time tonight. Be warned: You'll have to install software called the "Coupon Printer" to do this.
The coupon, if you can get to it, is good through May 19. (But not on May 10. Sorry, Mom!)
KFC's parent company, Yum Brands (Stock Quote: YUM), is hoping the "healthier" option might help turn around U.S. sales, which were down 14% in the first quarter.
Fast food executives know you're trying to eat better. They know your common sense is screaming at you to stay away from KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, etc., which is why the grilled chicken campaign has the slogan, "Unthink what you thought about KFC." We've already seen this ploy with salads from McDonald's (Stock Quote: MCD), healthier kids' meals at Burger King (Stock Quote: BKC) and those weird fresh fish commercials for Wendy's (Stock Quote: WEN).
So how much healthier is the grilled chicken? Well, a grilled breast has 180 calories, compared to 370 for original recipe. Grilled also has four grams of fat and 440 milligrams of sodium, while an original recipe breast has 21 grams of fat and (holy salt, Colonel!) 1,050 milligrams of sodium. So those are all improvements.
The devil, of course, is in the ingredients. KFC describes its grilled chicken as, among other things, "marinated." (The phrase "juicy perfection" is also mentioned.) The ingredients list reveals the details: "Fresh Chicken Marinated with: Salt, Sodium Phosphate, and Monosodium Glutamate." Monosodium glutamate, if you're unaware, is MSG.
All snark aside, free food is free food and MainStreet will more than likely be taking a stroll, coupon in hand, to the local KFC. If you go, let us know how it tastes. Also let us know if there are any problems, like in the Quizno's free sub debacle of '09.
Bonus: Arby's is giving away free fruit iced tea, today only, at participating locations. No coupon necessary, but you might have to say, "I'm parched. FruiTea me!" We predict this will lead to hilarious encounters nationwide.