This week, I reached out for a 4-pack of Cinnabon Dessert Biscuits at America's No. 1 poultry palace, KFC, with 5,000 restaurants coast to coast, and another 14,000 joints in 118 countries 'round the world. Here's KFC addressing a big hole in its game — dessert. I've been to KFC a hundred times and have never bought a dessert. I couldn't even tell you if they offer desserts. I've never seen a KFC with a sweets display on the counter.
(For the record, KFC has apple turnovers, chocolate chip cakes and cookies, lemon cake, and a few other after-dinner treats. I had to look it up.)
Here's the Cinnabon Dessert Biscuit breakdown: KFC's regular biscuits, slathered with cinnamon brown sugar glaze and squiggles of Cinnabon's crazy yummy cream cheese frosting.
Because this is a limited time only (LTO) item, KFC doesn't have to post its nutritional numbers. But a regular buttermilk biscuit has 180 calories and 8 fat grams. Figure more damage when Cinnabon toppings enter the picture. Manufacturer's suggested retail price is $1 per biscuit, or four for $3. KFC throws in a free 4-pack if you buy a 10-piece (or larger) chicken bucket meal.
This ain't fair! I'd eat an old catcher's mitt covered with Cinnabon's brown sugar glaze and cream cheese frosting. This has to be the easiest new product ever invented at KFC. They took something already on the menu, and shmeared it with beloved Cinnabon goodies.
Talk about a guaranteed winner. I remember spending an entire 17-hour plane ride home from China fantasizing about eating a Cinnabon Caramel Pecanbon in the airport when we landed. Caramel Pecanbons are treacherous, 1,080 calories and 51 fat grams. I ate two before heading down to baggage claim. It was good to be back.
Important distinction: a Cinnabon Dessert Biscuit at KFC is not a cinnamon bun at Cinnabon. KFC's new dessert has no sweet stuff swirled in the biscuit, all the naughty temptation is on top. But they're still sticky good and plenty sweet considering Cinnabon's limited participation.
Here's the big problem with Cinnabon Dessert Biscuits. I know you, you're weak. As you're driving home with a bucket meal, those Cinnabon Dessert Biscuits will be sitting within arm's reach. First red light, you're going to stuff one in your mouth. Good luck explaining to your family that the TV commercial was wrong, KFC only throws in three free dessert biscuits with 10-piece bucket meals. Or more realistically, "Darn it, they forgot to give me the free biscuits — all four of them!"
Just remember to wipe the glaze from your chin before you lie to the people you love most.
KFC's introduction of Cinnabon Dessert Biscuits is timed and tied to Mother's Day. It's one of KFC's busiest holidays each year. The idea is to pick up a bucket of chicken so poor mom doesn't have to cook dinner on her special day. Moms are the best. KFC expects to feed 300,000 families on May 12. Then everybody can resume taking mom for granted on May 13.
Ken Hoffman reviews a new fast food restaurant item every Wednesday. Have a suggestion or a drive-thru favorite? Let Ken know on Twitter.