September 06, 2005 09:53 ET

You Are What You Eat? Think Twice America, Your Flavor Preference Says a Lot More About Your Personality Than You Know

KFC Is First QSR to Tap Surging Nationwide Interest in Flavor-On-Demand With Introduction of KFC® Flavor Station

Renowned Taste and Smell Expert, Alan R. Hirsch, Reveals Surprising Results From New KFC Flavor Study Correlating Flavor Preference and Personality; Could Flavor Be the Key to Career Success and Better Relationships?

LOUISVILLE, KY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- September 6, 2005 -- Flavor seekers, one of the fastest growing consumer segments, will have a whole new way to take control and express their own personal "taste." Beginning September 5, KFC will be the first quick-service restaurant in America to meet this increasing demand with the introduction of the KFC® Flavor Station, where consumers can get dipped-to-order wings and more with any of three sauces -- Honey BBQ and two new flavors, Sweet & Spicy and Fiery Buffalo.

Because flavor is increasingly important to so many people, KFC asked renowned "Flavorologist," Alan R. Hirsch, M.D., the neurological director of the Smell & Taste Research and Treatment Foundation in Chicago, to conduct an in-depth analysis of the three new KFC Flavor Station sauces.

The KFC Flavor Station Study revealed surprising results and found a direct correlation between flavor preference and personality. "Flavor selection is an everyday Rorschach Test and could be considered a relationship tool to find your perfect match," said Dr. Hirsch. Flavor plays a significant role in shaping an individual's personality revealing specific characteristics according to flavor preference. The study uncovered tips on how to use your flavor preference to your advantage in work, play and even romance.

"KFC Flavor Station puts consumers in control by offering a great variety and intense flavor the way they want it, when they want it," said Scott Bergren, chief marketing officer, KFC. "Today's consumers are seeking more flavor and more options and with the new KFC Flavor Station introduction, consumers will have more control over their 'flavor.'"

A Pinch of... Personality

The study uncovered intriguing results. Those who prefer HONEY BBQ, KFC's classic sweet & tangy sauce, are the leaders of society. They enjoy the finer things in life and want to be among the best. Always desirous of being a winner, they do not accept defeat and have little tolerance for those who act foolishly. They are the CEOs, politicians, entrepreneurs and leaders of their respective industries. For leisure, they enjoy tooling around in their luxury vehicles or flashy sports cars and enjoy games of tennis (singles only) and competitive golf tournaments.

When it comes to romance, Honey BBQers are most compatible with others who prefer Honey BBQ or Fiery Buffalo. They have a tendency to treat their mates as objects for their own fulfillment, regardless of their partner's own satisfaction. In their own words, they are confident, amorous and alluring in romantic relationships.

Those who prefer FIERY BUFFALO, which features traditional Buffalo flavor with a blend of seven peppers and a hint of vinegar, tend to be easy going and are more comfortable as followers than leaders. In the work environment they function best in team projects. They avoid the spotlight, will readily give credit to others and are most successful in occupations in which they can work behind the scenes. Altruistic, they are loyal and true friends and tend to be faithful in romantic relationships, which often involve a more dominating, aggressive and achievement-oriented partner. For leisure, Fiery Buffaloes most enjoy non-competitive sports, or if competitive, more team-oriented sports, such as rowing or relay racing.

Those who prefer Fiery Buffalo are more romantically compatible with other Fiery Buffaloes. Monogamous individuals, they can be quite dependent on their mates and often will stay in a relationship at all costs, even if it is to their detriment.

Those who love the sweet flavor with a kick of heat in SWEET & SPICY are colorful, flamboyant extroverts who enjoy being the center of attention. Unabashedly flirtatious and provocative risk takers, Sweet & Spicy types enjoy new and exciting experiences in romance, work and social situations. They are well suited to occupations in which they are in the spotlight, such as acting, on-air TV/radio personality, or fashion designer, since they thrive on public admiration. Sweet & Spicy types enjoy daring sports like race car driving and skydiving.

Those who prefer Sweet & Spicy are most romantically compatible with those who prefer Fiery Buffalo. Highly flirtatious individuals, Sweet & Spicy types tend to prefer new, multiple partners and exotic encounters. If they are in a relationship, they have a tendency to "live in the moment" and often stray.

So what does it all mean?

Not only does the surprising data provide fun fodder for informal personality tests among friends, but KFC Flavor Station can also be an insightful and informative event. Will a new boss be your buddy? Suggest a lunch at KFC to see what dips his/her fancy. Wondering how a new date will go? Take your potential mate to KFC for a taste of new Flavor Station sauces to see what the future holds.

"Be the Boss, Choose Your Sauce"

"Flavor preferences can tell us a great deal about each other and our character traits and it was quite an experience to join forces with KFC to conduct the flavor preference personality study," Dr. Hirsch said. "We've uncovered some interesting findings, as I'm sure most would assume Fiery Buffalo lovers would be the aggressive, domineering types and Honey BBQ fans the more passive, accepting personalities. However, surprisingly, this study found just the opposite. If you're wondering if you and your significant other are compatible, flavor choices are very insightful -- head to KFC and see how you fare over Flavor Station wings!"

KFC Flavor Station is available at all U.S. KFC locations from September 5th through October 2nd. Suggested price is $2.99 for six wings and $7.99 for 18 wings, but may vary slightly. To learn more about KFC's Flavor Station, read up on your own personal flavor preference profile and take a personality quiz, or to enter to win KFC meals for a year, log on to

*Study Methodology

Dr. Hirsch's study, Poultry Condiment Preference and Personality, was conducted in August and analyzed 568 adults from across the United States. Average participant age was 36 (range 23-62). Forty-seven percent (267) were men and 53% (301) were women. Participants underwent a series of personality tests for several hours, answering more than 1,000 questions about personality, including the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2) [89], Million Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-III (MCMI-III) [90], Beck Depression Inventory [91] and Zung Depression [92] and Anxiety Scales [93]. These questions did not revolve around poultry, poultry condiments, or food hedonics, but dealt with other aspects of personality and behavior. DSMV-IV-T [94] diagnoses and traits were determined for each subject. Forced-choice hedonic preference for possible poultry condiment flavors of Honey BBQ, Sweet & Spicy, and Fiery Buffalo were obtained. Fifty percent (283) preferred Fiery Buffalo, 32% (183) preferred Honey BBQ, and 18% (102) preferred Sweet & Spicy. Statistical correlation between chicken sauce flavor hedonics and DSM-IV-T [94] diagnoses as determined by the above personality tests was performed.

About Alan R. Hirsch, M.D.

Dr. Alan Hirsch is a neurologist and psychiatrist who specializes in the treatment of smell and taste loss. Dr. Hirsch, who is certified by the American Board of Neurology and Psychiatry, American Academy of Pain Management, Geriatric Psychiatry and Addiction Psychiatry, conducts in-depth studies of the olfactory sense and its relation to all aspects of life. Some examples include studies observing the effect that certain scents or aromas have on behavior, emotions, mood and/or interactions between individuals. An inventor and investigative researcher in the area of smell and taste, Dr. Hirsch lectures frequently around the country and has published many of his studies' findings.

About KFC

KFC Corporation, based in Louisville, Ky., is the world's most popular chicken restaurant chain specializing in Original Recipe®, Extra Crispy™ and Colonel's Crispy Strips® with home-style sides, Honey BBQ Wings, and freshly made chicken sandwiches. Since its founding by Colonel Harland Sanders in 1952, KFC has been serving customers delicious, already-prepared complete family meals at affordable prices. There are more than 13,000 KFC outlets in more than 80 countries and territories around the world serving some eight million customers each day. KFC Corporation is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., Louisville, Ky. (NYSE: YUM).

Contact Information

  • Contacts:
    Amy Sherwood or Diane Bloem

    Laura Springer