Nando's and Oporto vs KFC and Red Rooster: who rules the roost?

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Do big chicken brands KFC and Red Rooster still rule the roost? It seems they do, despite the latest research released by survey company Roy Morgan that shows customers are getting a taste for chicken from smaller fast food brands Nandos and Oporto, while the established chains are seeing a decline in visits.

Geoffrey Smith, general manager — consumer products, Roy Morgan Research, said “Increased visitation to Nando’s and Oporto appears to be affecting Australia’s main fast-food chicken chains: over the last five years, traditional favourites KFC and Red Rooster have experienced gradual declines in visitation.

“Despite KFC’s decreasing popularity, it’s still the leading fast-food chicken retailer, particularly among young Australians. Its customers are 24 percent more likely than the average fast-food consumer to be aged under 25. However, Nando's is also targeting this younger demographic, with their customers twice as likely to be under 25."

Smith suggested a more adaptable approach might serve the big brands well.

“In these changing times, businesses must learn to adapt to an evolving market, and KFC and Red Rooster may need to reconsider how they attract new customers and win back old ones. With public awareness about battery farming growing, perhaps the introduction of a free-range menu could be an option?”

THE STATISTICS

Although there's a decline in visits for the big chains, they still claim a substantial customer base. Sixty three percent of Australians aged 14 and older have visited a KFC outlet at least once during their lives; 49 percent have stopped off at a Red Rooster. The research shows the figures have dropped since 2008, when 68 percent had been KFC customers, and 52 percent of the teen and adult population had visited Red Rooster.

But the research reveals that Nando’s and Oporto are gaining in popularity as the go-to chains for a fast-food chicken fix.

Both chains enjoyed growth between the April–June 2008 quarter and that of January–March 2013.

Five years ago 21 percent of Aussies reported having visited Nando’s at least once. Now this has grown to 28 percent.

There are similar figures at Oporto, which showed 14 percent of Australians as of the April–June 2008 quarter had visited the chain, increasing to 20 percent in 2013.

And for Nandos customers are increasing the frequency of their visits. In any given four-week period during the April-June 2008 quarter, Australians visited Nando’s an average of 1.56 times. By the January–March 2013 quarter, this had grown to 2.24 visits.

The frequency of visits to Oporto also increased slightly, from 2.10 to 2.13*.

*Source:Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), Apr 2008 – Mar 2013, average quarterly sample = 4,899

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