A few months ago, KFC announced the launch of its new spicy chicken sandwich, "The Zinger." The chain also noted that it was planning to literally launch the Zinger into space. Now, after several weeks of waiting, details of the expedition have been revealed. KFC has partnered with World View, a space exploration company, to send the Zinger chicken sandwich to the stratosphere, the edge of space, and back.
A recent KFC press release explained the launch, saying, “Pushing the boundaries of space exploration and fried chicken technology, the mission will be the longest controlled stratospheric balloon flight with a commercial payload in history and the first-ever multi-day mission of the World View Stratollite flight system." KFC’s U.S. president, Kevin Hochman, said, "We’re excited to be the ones pushing spicy, crispy chicken sandwich space travel forward. But in all seriousness, we’re proud to support World View’s commitment to advancing space research and trust them to take our world famous Zinger sandwich to space.” The Zinger Stratollite launch window opens on June 21, and we're eager to see if any alien lifeforms get a nibble.
This story was originally published on April 21, 2017.
Over the past couple of years, several different actors have portrayed the fried chicken icon Colonel Harland Sanders in various KFC ad campaigns. We've seen the famous white goatee and horn rimmed glasses grace the faces of Vincent Kartheiser, Darrell Hammond, Jim Gaffigan, Norm MacDonald, George Hamilton, and most recently Billy Zane. In anticipation of its new Zinger chicken sandwich, the chain just announced the newest member to the Colonel Sanders club, Rob Lowe.
If you follow KFC on social media, you may have noticed photos teasing the arrival of a new Colonel. Two days ago, the chain posted a photo of an unidentifiable man posing in a spacesuit decorated to look like Colonel Sanders' iconic white double breasted suit. The captions read, "You must have a lot of questions about this. Questions like, 'who is this mysterious space Colonel?' and 'isn’t he hot in that suit?' Yesterday, that photo was followed up with another that was very similar except the helmet was slightly raised so you can see that white goatee. This one said, "Yes, of course he’s hot in that suit. Space suits are no joke. But never mind that. He’s currently focused on something much more important: a mission to launch the Zinger chicken sandwich"
Well, those burning questions are officially getting answered. The Colonel in the spacesuit is former Park & Recreation actor Rob Lowe. According to a press release, Lowe has some personal ties to the KFC brand. He explained, "My grandfather was the head of the Ohio chapter of the National Restaurant Association in the 1960s and took me to meet Colonel Harland Sanders when I was a kid." So cute, right? Lowe was eager to play the KFC founder in the ads as a way to "pay homage" to both Colonel Sanders and his grandfather. He quickly followed that sentiment up by saying, "Plus, we’re sending the Zinger chicken sandwich to space. You kind of can’t beat that.”
KFC's new spicy chicken sandwich, dubbed "The Zinger" has long been a best seller in 120 countries. And, now, it's coming to America. To celebrate that, KFC is literally sending "the world-famous sandwich out of this world." The Zinger is breaded, fried, and served with lettuce and mayonnaise on a toasted sesame seed bun. The spicy sandwich will be available starting Monday, April 24, and it's getting launched into space this summer. Don't worry Rob Lowe fans, he's staying safe here on earth.