Hungry Jack owner Jack Cowin talks chicken burgers as beef prices soar

“You don’t buy two televisions,” he says.

Mr Cowin says Hungry Jack’s has closely studied the changing trends in food consumption and is confident that, based on the results of marketing tests at 10 of its stores, the range of fried chicken burgers will take off. “We’re not going into this blind,” he said. Hungry Jack’s spent two years formulating the Jack’s Fried Chicken line of burgers.

He says the consumption of chicken is increasing around the world. “We are now a nation of chicken eaters,” he says.

“Where it’s going, you want to catch the bandwagon. “

Hungry Jack’s replaces its previous line of chicken burger products with the new line and presents it much more in advertising and marketing.

“It will become a main event, rather than a side product.”

Asked if he thinks it will attract more business from KFC than from McDonald’s, Mr Cowin said customers will gravitate to where they see the best taste and value.

“Ultimately, the customer will decide where they want to go. “

Growth projects

The pandemic has not dampened Hungry Jack’s ambitions to become a bigger player in the fast food industry. There are now 440 outlets and Mr Cowin said the natural cap would not be reached until the group neared 700 stores.

He plans to add more than 20 per year, depending on site availability.

Mr. Cowin is also a significant shareholder in the plant-based meat group v2food, which has now raised a total of $ 185 million since November 2019 and is valued at around $ 500 million.

Hungry Jack’s has been using v2food patties in its Rebel Whopper burger in the group’s outlets since the end of 2019.

Mr Cowin said the Rebel Whopper has made steady progress at Hungry Jack’s, but it will not lead to a business transformation yet.

“It doesn’t revolutionize the business; the benefit is that it brings in a different customer ”- those who are on a vegan diet or want to eat less meat.

The Rebel Whopper will remain a regular on the menu: “It will continue and grow. “

The v2food group raised $ 54 million ($ 73 million) in a Series B-plus funding round that ended in August. The round table was led by the European investment fund Astanor Ventures. Existing investors including Huaxing Growth Capital Fund, the Main Sequence venture capital arm of CSIRO and ABC World Asia, have also injected more funds.

Mr Cowin said the Asian investment in v2food shows the brand’s global ambitions. “He’s a serious player.


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