Best Brand Extension/Innovation


After scouring the Earth for the technology that would allow Tegel to create the taste and texture of authentic fired chicken – direct from the freezer – in 2019 they finally cracked it.

The Challenge 

Kiwis love good fried chicken! Testament to this is that New Zealand has the second highest number of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) outlets per capita in the world. Given these salivating stats, for years, many have tried and failed, Tegel included, to produce a product that gives Kiwis that same experience but with the convenience of fried chicken from the freezer. 

Internal researched showed that Kiwis are turning to the likes of Uber Eats to buy and have delivered to their doorstep fried chicken and nuggets from their favourite quick-service restaurants. The mega trend towards convenience demonstrated that brands can’t go wrong focusing on innovations that save consumers time and make their day to day lives simpler and easier. While popular takeaway foods like nuggets had been in the supermarket freezer for years, no one had cracked the elusive ability to replicate anything close to the fried chicken we know from the Colonel.

The Response

The opportunity was to create a range of products that would replicate the takeaway experience consumers had embraced, but with the ease and convenience of cooking it at home straight from the freezer. Tegel had to make the product easy to cook by baking rather than deep frying with no compromise on taste.

Tegel scoured the globe for technology and found a machine from Germany called the Multi-Drum breader that could achieve the experience it was after. The only problem? It came at a huge cost – over $1 million, and Tegel had never spent anywhere near that on capital expenditure for a one-off NPD project.

Tegel already had a “takeaway at home” brand in the freezer. So rather than start from scratch it had a vision to breathe new life into the brand by creating a Southern American range that ticked all the right boxes. In October 2019, Tegel launched a range of American Southern Style Chicken with unique ruffle coatings under the Tegel Take Outs brand in retailer supermarket freezers around the country.

The Result 

The chicken brand doubled down on taste and convenience through its advertising campaign, and within the first week, Kiwis were Hootin’ N’ Hollerin’ for their chicken.

It was always going to be an ambitious ask to get Kiwis to give up the Colonel and try its Take Outs. But not only did they try them, they came back again and again and again. This has been Tegel’s most successful freezer launch in the last decade. Its three SKU’s are the 9th, 11th and 34th most purchased new food supermarket products over the past 12 months, and the Louisiana Tenders are the number one selling product in the category. Most importantly, the Take Outs brand is back took flight with volume growth rates at +136 percent versus the previous year.

Entry details

Category: Best Brand Extension/Innovation
Company: Tegel
Marketing Initiative: Tegel Takes Over Fried Chicken
Marketing Partners: BC&F Dentsu
Judge’s Comments: “Tegel Louisiana chicken has been an unparalleled business success story. This winning entry clearly demonstrated how to create sustainable value and margin through a well thought through, brave and innovative brand extension.”
Finalists: Carpet Court NZ, Marketing Minds

This article was originally published in the December/January 2020 issue of NZ Marketing. You can subscribe to the magazine, here. Or read the other winner stories, here.

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