Grill’d squares off with KFC by launching Healthy Fried Chicken (HFC) bites

Continuing down the path of healthier offerings, Grill’d has this week launched Healthy Fried Chicken (HFC) Bites on their nationwide menu. And its quite an explicit dig at the most obvious competition, KFC, especially with a launch campaign that involves offering the colonel’s workers free HFC if they rock up to a Grill’d store in their KFC uniform.

A bit of healthy competition never hurt anyone, so don’t be surprise to see Grill’d street posters surrounding KFC stores this week, doubling down on the pseudo-rivalry to promote the new menu item.

Is HFC actually healthy though? Grill’d are certainly banking on the new recipe, which per 100g contains 25% more protein, 47% less total fat, 42%
less saturated fat and 36% less sodium than McDonald’s McNuggets; and 33% less kilojoules, 58% less total fat and 47% less sodium than KFC popcorn chicken.

Short of air frying some chicken breast to perfection, it’s hard to arrive at the famously indulgent food and balance that with a guilt-free alternative. But as we’ve seen with Grill’d in the past, the Australian chain is nothing if not tenacious when it comes to future-proofing their burgers in a market that’s increasingly looking to healthy alternatives for classic comfort food.

Grill’d also promises that the HFC Bites, which come in natural or sticky honey soy flavours, are gluten-free, cooked in Australian Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and made with higher welfare RSPCA approved chicken breast.

That offer to KFC workers is serious by the way. If you’re staff at the fast food giant just rock up to any Grill’d store in your uniform between 17th and 22nd November and the staff will attempt to win you over to a less greasier way of enjoying fried chicken. Similarly, HFC Bites will be free for all of Grill’d’s Relish members from 24th November to 14th December (with a main menu item purchased either in-store or online).

Chris Singh

Chris Singh is the Deputy-Editor-At-Large of the AU review, loves writing about travel and hospitality, and is partial to a perfectly textured octopus. You can reach him on Instagram: @chrisdsingh.