Double Down (sandwich)
The Double Down is a sandwich offered by Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). The Double Down contains "bacon, two different kinds of melted cheese, the Colonel’s secret sauce... pinched in between two pieces of Original Recipe chicken fillets." It is also available with grilled chicken fillets instead of the Original Recipe fried fillets, and with KFC's Zinger fillets (spicy) to customers in select nations. KFC describes the Double Down as a "sandwich" although it does not have bread.
The KFC Double Down was initially test marketed in Omaha, Nebraska, and Providence, Rhode Island. KFC announced it in an April Fools' Day press release, and launched the item in the United States on April 12, 2010. It has been promoted via billboards and a TV commercial that says it has "so much 100 percent premium chicken, we didn't have room for a bun."
Originally a limited time offer that was supposed to end on May 23, 2010, KFC reversed course on May 19, 2010, stating that the item would remain available indefinitely. The chain cited its popularity in overall sales, as well as videos of people eating the Double Down becoming a YouTube sensation. Stephen Colbert ate one on The Colbert Report, spurring the item's popularity even more.
On October 18, 2010, KFC restaurants in Canada began selling the fried version of the Double Down sandwich for a limited time. It was reported that on its launch date, a KFC in Victoria, British Columbia was sold out of Double Down sandwiches by as early as 2 PM PST. In French Canada, it is known as "Coup Double", roughly translated as "Double Punch". The sandwich was discontinued in Canada on November 14, 2010, but on 25 May 2011, KFC announced it was returning at least temporarily. In 2012 the Double Down returned to Canada.
In November 2010, the Double Down sandwich was launched in select branches in the Philippines, the first in Asia. Nearly one year later, in October 2011, KFC Philippines replaced it with the Zinger Double Down, with a spicy flavor and crunchy skin. The product was discontinued in the Philippines in mid-2012, but reintroduced in January 2014 together with a smaller version, the Junior Double Down.
KFC Australia started selling the Double Down (renamed The Double) with the tagline "make time for mantime" on March 30, 2011, for a limited time only. The Double was successful in Australia, although it was criticized for being unhealthy. KFC Australia announced via their Facebook page that if they reached 500,000 likes, they would bring the Double back to Australian stores for a limited time period of two days. The page reached 500,000 likes on June 15, 2012, and KFC announced that the sandwich would go on sale on June 27 and 28. The Double reappeared on menus in December 2012, again for a limited time only.
From May 10, 2011, the Double Down was available in New Zealand for an initially limited period of five weeks. The Double Down was also brought back for one day only on March 31, 2012 exclusively in Dunedin to raise funds for the Otago Rugby Union which faced financial difficulties in early 2012. On the July 24, 2012, KFC resumed sales of the Double Down in New Zealand.
On February 2, 2012, the Double Down went on sale in Japan for a limited time as the Chicken Fillet Double. KFC Singapore launched the Zinger Double Down on April 16, 2012. Instead of regular bacon, the Singapore version uses turkey bacon to conform to halal standards. Following this, KFC Malaysia introduced the Double Down as well starting on the 25th of September 2012.
On November 11, 2012, the arrival of Zinger Double Down was first teased on the official Facebook page of KFC Korea, and it went on sale as a limited offer on December 1. The promotion lasted through March 1, 2013, but it was later announced that Zinger Double Down would make a temporary return on October 19, along with a variant named Zinger Double Down MAXX with added hash brown patty and salsa sauce. Both sandwiches were later added as a year-round menu on March 2014, and on April the original Double Down was also made available. On October 2014, yet another variant named Zinger Double Down KING was announced, with a beef patty and barbecue sauce in middle of two Zinger patties.
On April 21st, 2014, KFC began advertising that the Double Down sandwich is back through May 25th, 2014.
NPR compared its calorie count to that of McDonald's Premium Crispy Chicken Club Sandwich. Both the grilled and fried Double Down products had nearly a full day's worth of sodium according to the American Heart Association's guidelines. A Los Angeles Times reviewer pointed out that the grilled chicken Double Down has fewer calories and less fat than does the fried chicken Double Down (460 versus 540 calories, and 23g versus 32g fat) but that the grilled chicken option has more sodium (1,430 mg versus 1,380). The L.A. Times article also noted that both Double Downs have fewer calories than does Burger King's TenderCrisp chicken sandwich, which has 800 calories.
From its April 12, 2010 nationwide launch through early July, a KFC spokesperson reported that the chain had sold 10 million of the sandwiches for a total of about US$50 million in revenue. An analyst said that figure accounts for 5% of KFC's sales in that time period, a figure insubstantial to KFC's financial bottom line.
In Canada, the sandwich became KFC's best-selling new menu item ever, selling over 350,000 sandwiches in less than 10 days. There were rumors that as of November 17, 2010, the Double Down would be discontinued on KFC menus in Canada, despite sales in excess of one million sandwiches, but they are currently still being sold in some restaurants across the country. Sales in New Zealand were 600,000 units over its five week promotion. Grant Ellis, CFO of New Zealand KFC operator Restaurant Brands, said that despite these sales the Double Down "did cannibalise some of our better-margin products." 
Following the launch of Zinger Double Down in Korea, the overall sales for KFC Korea increased by 20%.
- Katelin Paiz KFC releases Double Down breadless sandwich nationwide April 13, 2010 Daily Titan (Cal State Fullerton)
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- Rosemary Black KFC's new 'Double Down' sandwich swaps bun for two deep-fried chicken breasts, extra calories August 26th 2009 New York Daily News
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- Il arrive! PFK offrira le sandwich Coup Double à compter du 18 octobre 2010
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