FOMO - Fear Of Missing Out. It's a really big thing at the moment in the marketing world, especially for fast food where they are desperate to create a habit of return visits through time limited events (why do you think there is a different Happy Meal toy each week?).
KFC have had a series of fun recipes recently that are essentially twists on the basic formula. The Double Down is essentially the ultimate version of this - they replace the horrible nutrition free bread with lovely chicken! And it's only for a limited time! How limited they didn't say, so I better go fast before I miss out on this special treat.
It comes in a special gold bag so all the people at the neighbouring tables know to watch you to see how you manage to eat it. But if the bread is chicken - then what is the chicken?
Well in the UK Halal version (apparently 100 of the KFCs here are Halal only) they replace it with nothing at all! In the original it was lovely bacon, which makes sense. Here you appear to pay the same and just get no bacon. Maybe you get an extra slice of the insulting yellow plastic that they call Monterey jack cheese.
Either way, holding it like a wrap and gradually eating down the length of it is a fun experience - that is over very quickly. I'm sure it contains very similar amounts of calories, but it's the bread and chips that trick the brain into feeling full and so I could have easily eaten a second. I didn't though and was full enough for the evening on just this and a large Pepsi that I won on the charity scratch cards on the last visit (more chaining of visits!).
My complaint really goes back to the FOMO argument at the start - why didn't they just replace the bacon with a similar halal ingredient? I replace bacon in veggie things with sun-dried tomatoes (carbona like this is amazing), or even just a turkey rasher here where it just has to be halal and not vegan. Heck - anything with a salty contrasting flavour would have done enough to create a second opportunity for people to try the Double Down without having to worry. I've never been that keen on my local KFC (maybe there is a variation in the 11 herbs and spices to make that halal, maybe it's just a drive-thru and not quite up to scratch) and this kind of encourages me to save my cravings for when I'm in Birmingham town centre?
I've no real objection to Halal only (or Vegan only) restaurants and frequent them regularly, my only issue was finding out a couple of hours after eating that the reason it didn't taste that special was because the main ingredient was missing. Never-mind KFC, just gives you an excuse to roll out the apology Double Down with a turkey rasher in for Xmas exclusively in the Halal branches.