Visits to KFC and Red Rooster declining, Nando’s and Oporto gaining popularity

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 26th August 2013

Should fast-food chicken giants KFC and Red Rooster be concerned? Visits to both restaurant chains have been gradually declining over the last five years, according to new findings from market research organisation Roy Morgan Research, while their smaller rivals Nando’s and Oporto are steadily gaining popularity.

While 63 per cent of Australians aged 14 or older have visited KFC at least once during their lives, and 49 per cent have visited Red Rooster, the Roy Morgan Research findings showed that more and more people are turning to Nando’s and Oporto for their fast-food chicken fix. Both Nando’s and Oporto chains enjoyed growth between the April-June 2008 quarter and the January-March 2013 quarter.

In 2008, 21 per cent of Australians reported having visited Nando’s at least once. By 2013, this had grown to 28 per cent. Oporto experience a similar growth in popularity, from 14 per cent in 2008, to 20 per cent in 2013.

By contrast, the number of Australians who had visited KFC dropped from 68 per cent in 2008 to 63 per cent in 2013; Red Rooster saw a drop from 52 per cent to 49 per cent.

“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,” said Geoffrey Smith, General Manager Consumer Products, Roy Morgan Research.

“Despite KFC’s decreasing popularity, it’s still the leading fast-food chicken retailer, particularly among young Australians. It’s customers are 24 per cent more likely than the average fast-food consumer to be aged under 25,” Mr Smith said. “However, Nando’s is also targeting this younger demographic, with their customers twice as likely to be under 25,” he said.

Frequency of visits increases

According to Roy Morgan, not only have total visits increased for Nando’s, there had also been a marked increase in visitation frequency. 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 2.1 in 2008 to 2.13 in 2013.

“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,” Mr Smith said. “With public awareness about battery farming growing, perhaps the introduction of a free-range menu could be an option,” he said.