ATLANTA, June 28, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Following two highly attended regional innovation forums in Dubai and Mexico City, Texas Chicken® and Church's Chicken® hosted its final "VIP – Vendor Innovation Process" session in Singapore featuring collaborative forums for regional and global stakeholders to exchange ideas about menu innovation, guest preferences, and trends. This year marks the first time the forums have gone global in all three regions where the brand operates.
"Our international footprint has been expanding rapidly," shared Kirk Waisner, Senior Vice President of Global Research & Development for Church's. "The Middle East, the Americas, and Asia are our biggest International markets, each with their own unique consumer profile. As an iconic brand with global reach and recognition, regionalizing the product idea forums is the right thing to do strategically."
The forums are designed to reinforce the brand's continuing commitment to showcase culinary skill and authentic preparation for all items on its menu. The first forum kicked off in April and was held in Dubai, followed by a forum in Mexico City. New product offerings, adaptations of existing menu items, Limited Time Offers, and unique beverage, dessert, and side item choices were all topics of discussion for attendees.
Ada Duque, Director of International Research & Development for the brand, coordinated and led these interactive sessions abroad. "With our expansion into international markets and the unique flavors each region brings, these forums provide continued support of the innovation pipeline," said Duque. "This process has helped us build a great line-up of consumer-approved products that we are ready to launch regionally and globally. These products also have input and involvement from our franchisees."
Each forum featured collaboration with renowned chefs within the region followed by testing of concepts with consumers in the region. Top-performing concepts then begin the 12-month to 18-month journey to becoming a regional menu item.
"Our 'market basket' approach is a key feature of these innovation forums," continued Duque. "We use local ingredients a competitive style cook-off format to fuel ideation. This format ensures our products are both representative of the local flavor and easy to commercialize."
Along the way, the team addresses supply-chain considerations to ensure adequate product inventory to all Texas Chicken and Church's Chicken restaurants in a specific region.
"As we maintain our focus on becoming the global franchisor of choice, these hands-on sessions with franchisees and partners are essential," explained Waisner. "Innovation thrives on varying viewpoints and perspectives. Involving a broad cross-functional team in the innovation process helps ensure buy-in, and, once launched, success with guests. On a strategic level, it helps us deliver a global brand experience of quality, innovation, and culinary excellence."
About Texas Chicken® / Church's Chicken®
Founded in San Antonio, TX in 1952 by George W. Church, Church's Chicken, along with its sister brand Texas Chicken outside of the Americas, is one of the largest quick service chicken restaurant chains in the world. The brands specialize in Original and Spicy Chicken freshly prepared throughout the day in small batches that are hand-battered and double-breaded, TenderStrips®, sandwiches, honey-butter biscuits made from scratch and freshly baked, and classic, home-style sides all for a great value. Church's Chicken and Texas Chicken have more than 1,500 locations in 23 countries and global markets and system-wide sales of more than $1 billion. For more information, visit www.churchs.com. Follow Church's on Facebook at www.facebook.com/churchschicken and Twitter at www.twitter.com/churchschicken.