Review: New Chicken Littles from KFC

While I’d love to compare the “new” Chicken Littles from KFC to the Chicken Littles of years past, I have no memory of the originals.  What I’ve gathered through the last year or so via reader comments is that nothing beats the original Chicken Littles and the latest reinvention is a pathetic excuse for the Chicken Littles name.  I’ll go into this review with only the KFC Snackers as my memory of a mini chicken sandwich at KFC.

KFC describes the new Chicken Littles like this:

Chicken Littles feature a freshly-breaded Extra Crispy StripTM sandwiched in a sweet bun topped with pickle slices and KFC’s signature Colonel’s Mayo. The soft, sweet bun complements the savory 100 percent all-white breast meat chicken.

Chicken Littles haven’t been sold in more than 20 years so like mentioned, I don’t remember them that vividly.  Enough begging and pleading from KFC fans have pushed the Colonel to bring them back, but apparently they are just not the same.  Coming in with a clean slate, I’ll just admit that I’m a fan of mini food and I think a product like Chicken Littles works best in a fast food setting.  At $1.29 each, Chicken Littles are a mediocre value and that’s with my mind just now getting used to the idea that it’s getting harder and harder to find a great bargain in the under-$1.00 range in fast food.

Chicken Littles come equipped with a mini hotdog-shaped bun that seemed perfectly fit for the size of the crispy chicken strip.  The bun had a very mild tinge of sweetness and was slightly reminiscent of a hybrid between a denser potato roll and muted Hawaiian bread.  Over the years I’ve developed a growing aversion for KFC’s Original Recipe taste and I was relieved that Extra Crispy Strip chicken used in Chicken Littles.  The chicken was surprisingly meaty and had a respectable crunch, while not overwhelming me with the 11 herbs and spices.  Two nickel-sized sliced pickles add a little something to contrast the flavors with a mild sour kick and a little Colonel’s Mayo provides moisture to the mini package.    Personally, I’d take a little regular mayo over Colonel’s Mayo any day, but the normally off-putting taste wasn’t bad at all this time around.  Normally, I can’t stand Colonel’s Mayo.  Also I must add that I was pleased that KFC stopped there with just four ingredients.

With just four ingredients, I’ll also put in my 2-cents and formally state that I think KFC dropped the ball on Chicken Littles by not having any interesting sauce options.  With something this simple, I’m sure you could draw in customers with more choices and it all comes down to an array of sauces that can be made available.  We recently saw that Popeyes now has 3 new dipping sauces and 6 total choices to fit many personal preferences.  Chicken Littles are a bit boring without versions of Buffalo, BBQ, Ranch etc.  That will surely be left for another day when something we’re familiar with can be advertised as “new” again just by adding a sauce that we can do right now ourselves. Colonel’s Mayo as the only option seemed lazy to me.

KFC Chicken Littles are average, but still do a decent job of putting together just four ingredients that don’t fail individually.  These mini chicken sandwiches don’t suffer from adding too much to something too little.  For $1.29, they won’t be viewed as a good value to most, but for me I felt they were an adequate enough buy for a possible add-on.  While I found the new KFC Chicken Littles to be just OK, I’m certain the harsh critics will still cry out for the return of the original.

Pros: Decent-sized meaty chicken tender. Bun. Works well as a snack. Less is more/only four ingredients. Seven years late for making a creepy promotional tie-in with the Chicken Little movie.

Cons: No Chicken Littles flavor variety. People won’t want to pay $1.29 for this. KFC didn’t listen to their customers and bring back the Chicken Littles of old.

Taste: 6.75/10
Value: 5.50/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 8.75/10
Price: $1.29 ($5.00 will get you 2 Chicken Littles, a side and a medium drink)

Overall GrubGrade: 6.75/10

More Info: KFC.com
Nutrition Facts:
Nutrition Info - Not available

38 comments on “Review: New Chicken Littles from KFC

  1. Jeff Gilleran says:

    Excellent review.
    Yes, you are correct about the chicken littles of old being not returning upsetting purists.
    If KFC is looking at “simple”, the original little was just that.
    Simple, delicious, and value conscience.
    I would not call this new sandwich the chicken little.
    It’s a different snacker.
    I am hoping KFC will seriously reconsider bringing back the original little and make many of those who have tasted an “original” little (and loved it) happy again.

    • Ryan says:

      Thanks Jeff… so what was the original like?

      • PeterM says:

        It was kind of like a white castle burger. Small, fluffy square roll, thin square chicken meat patty, and some mayo. I don’t remember if it came with a pickle or not. One would not do – you would have to have 3 or 4 for a meal. It was a really tasty product.

  2. Nick says:

    It’s still a Snacker, not a Chicken Little.

  3. MP says:

    Well, basically don’t they sell chicken strips at $1 or $1.10-ish a piece?

    The bun on the Snackers was absolutely horrible. Tough, dried out, very light on sauce & no lettuce near the end & was jacked up from $1 to $1.29.

    I’ll take this over the Snacker any day.

  4. Rick says:

    I agree that this is not a chicken little. Original Chicken Little’s are going to be upset with these impostors!

  5. john smoke says:

    So what is the difference between an old chicken little and this one……….since most of us didn’t eat kfc 20 years ago

  6. rob says:

    There is a facebook page devoted to bringing back the original, based on the photos it doesn’t look like much

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/HELP-BRING-BACK-KFCS-CHICKEN-LITTLE-SANDWICH/130928303584132

  7. JF says:

    I’ve never had an original chicken little. And only heard about them from people here comparing these (from when they tested them until now) to the original and being inferior.

    I suspected it was nothing more than a chicken strip with some bread, mayo and pickles. The price doesn’t seem all that bad, but in the promo and review pictures, looks quite small.

    I don’t see myself trying these. And agree with Ryan, if they had sauce options, or at least a spicy / buffalo version I might be willing to give that a try.

    It’s not surprising they are trying to capitalize on a former offering they had, but as the purists know, these are not the same and may end up doing them more harm than good. I can see these off the menu in a few months due to poor sales.

    Looking at this, I’d rather get some spicy chicken strips from Popeyes and add my own sauce / toppings / breading to come up with a far superior “snacker”. 😉

  8. Alex says:

    It’s been so long ago and I was only 17 or 18, but the only thing I can compare them to is a tiny version of Chik fil A’s sandwich. I don’t care for CFA, but I remember loving the original Chicken Littles.

    Here’s a commercial from 1987:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzzh_XbblN4

    • JF says:

      I don’t know if I had ever seen that commercial, but the song sounds familar. Maybe they had other commercials using the same tune.

      Even in that commercial, it’s hard to see what they looked like, but to be honest (grew up in NY and loved White Castle) – they look like a White Castle chicken sandwich.

      Thanks for sharing!

  9. rob says:

    Based on the photos on the facebook page (there are 9 photos) the original Chicken Little was mechanically processed chicken, dark meat or blend of dark and white meat, formed into a square patty and put between a bun with some mayo or other goop.

    • JF says:

      If that’s what it originally was, I’m not sure why people are complaining.

      No offense to anyone, but when it comes to chicken or turkey, I’m a white meat guy. Never really liked dark meat or some combination of both.

      Maybe I’m missing something here (never having tried the original) but if that’s what it really was (chicken wise) I’d take these over those any day of the week. But I am sure I am missing something. Maybe the original sandwich with all white meat?

    • ljay says:

      Bingo. Like most things in life, the memories of what was are often better then what was.

      I had the chicken littles a few times. Nothing special in my book. Now their blazing strips..that’s a horse of a different color 😉

  10. Valerie says:

    I very much remember the original Chicken Littles, and was elated to find out they were making a comeback. I was equally moved, in a negative fashion, upon discovering they are not the same! It’s like taking Dr. Pepper of the market, and bringing it back 20 years later, but flavored like rootbeer or Coke. I can’t for the life of me figure out why they would bring them back for the purists, but not use the same recipe. How disappointing. Just to clarify – the “old” chicken littles consisted of a square sweet bun (think Hawaiian roll) with a dab of mayo and a square flat patty. Kind of like a White Castle burger, but chicken. This is a mini snacker & a fake! Bring back the ORIGINAL Chicken Littles!

  11. @graciHas says:

    i also want to know how the original chicken littles were compared to this ‘new’ version. i know it was a lot cheaper back then but wasn’t it just basically a mini school cafeteria chicken patty sandwich?

  12. Scrape says:

    If the economy keeps up the way it is, there won’t be much left on the value menus at all, let alone $1 items. Have you been to the grocery store? The drought this year and the push for ethanol the past few years has greatly decreased the supply and greatly increased the price of corn which the chickens, cows, and hogs are fed when they cannot graze, which has susbtantially raised the price of beef, chicken and pork. Let alone what it has done to the price of taco shells. Fuel costs have risen 200% in the past few years, so transporting the food, as well as fuel for agriculture have further driven up the cost of food. Many franchisees have been complaining about razor thin margins on value menu items, or have even been losing money on some items to try to make it back on others. I recall BK having that problem specifically. They lost money on the $1 burgers hoping to make it up on the high margin soft drinks. Some chains are doing everything they can to keep the value menu items because that is what sells, often hurting sales of the higher price menu items. The cost of energy and labor has also gone up substantially, and the dollar is worth a lot less.

    It wasn’t all that long ago you could get substantial menu items for much less than a dollar. We should feel lucky we can get the food we do at the prices they are offered with this current economy.

  13. Mike says:

    The original chicken littles used a small soft bun (like white castle) a thin breaded chicken patty with a breading more like a McDs nugget and mayo. They were great in the late 1980s they were 39 cents or 3 for $1 at my local KFC. I was a teenager at the time my mom would send me down to buy 12 or 15 of them at a time.

  14. TJ says:

    I really agree with the review regarding value. I never had an old chicken little, so I have no frame of reference there. I like McD’s McChicken pretty well though. This looks a lot smaller for a little more money, so I doubt I’d ever get it except as an occasional add-on, as the reviewer mentioned.

  15. Biff Mcgee says:

    The new “chicken littles” taste like a lousy chicken tender with miniscule meat and major breading. The one’s they made 20 years ago had more chicken and less breading and were absolutely delicious! So sad that an entire generation has no idea what they’re missing. Shame on you KFC!

  16. Seattle Sue says:

    Horrible. These are chicken lie-tles. They think we are stupid these lil lies r nothing like the original. They are trying to capitalize off of my fondness for the original by plagarizing & defaming ots good name. I had to b about 7 or 8 the last x I had these. My mom used to buy em by the sac full for me & my brother id eat 3 or 4 in one sitting. Stop the insanity KFC quit playing with our emotions. Bring back the real deal holyfield!!!

  17. surfkitty says:

    My recollection of the original Chicken Littles was they were basically a dinner roll (about 2″ square) with a thin breaded “chicken” thing inside that was maybe about 1/4″ thick, and they had mayo-like sauce (and a bit of shredded lettuce, if I recall correctly.) They were KFC’s version of a slider.

    I used to eat them on my way home from school, I think they were 2 for $1. They weren’t exactly gourmet but they were cute, easy to eat, and cheap.

    These new ones look nasty, if I want chicken strips, I’ll get chicken strips, I don’t need them on a hot dog bun with goo all over them. 😀

  18. TheHigherEnd says:

    Pretty much what people have said, the original was a formed chicken patty on a square bun, it was just chicken, mayo, lettuce and a pickle. The major appeal was that they were so cheap. 3 or 4 for a dollar. I honestly believe they got rid of them because they were cannibalizing their own market. Why buy a $10 or $15 meal when five bucks can easily feed 4 people? They were nothing special, but man, so cheap! It’s sort of like what I believe happened to Arby’s. Everyone here I’m sure remembers getting five Arby-Qs (with a goddamn pickle mind you!), 5 regular or cheddar roast beef (If you ever go back in time get these, add red ranch, BOOM…. ghetto Beef N’ Cheddars) sandwiches, 4 Beef N’ Cheddars, etc for $5. They designed this so tons of people would come in, which worked, but in the process they cheapened themselves to the point that the food eventually suffered which led to less people coming, which led to higher prices, which now leads to a $4.79 sandwich that is abysmal compared to the one that once cost a buck.

  19. Raiders757 says:

    I remember the original, and to be honest, I don’t understand the craze over them. I liked them back then, but they were made with a low quality processed patty. They weren’t any better than the little chicken sandwiches that you can buy in the frozen section at your local grocery store these days. It’s mainly nostalgia that’s driving the “Little” fans of old.

  20. Alex says:

    It’s a Snacker that costs 30 cents more. With pickles and mayo instead of Colonel’s Sauce.

  21. Zachary Jacob Zblewski says:

    Apparently people would rather have a pink slime patty over a real chicken breast tenderloin.

    Call me crazy.

  22. Matt says:

    Yeah I don’t really get why people are upset that these aren’t the original Chicken Littles. No way a chicken patty tastes better than a chicken tender.

  23. Jonathan Wayne says:

    Isn’t this a snacker?

  24. F. Michael says:

    Any fried chicken sandwich I see, I just crave Chic-Fil-a.. Why on earth did I move from FL to NYC?! :/

  25. Barfcat says:

    When I was growing up my mother and I used to get chicken littles all the time. We thought they were great back then. That being said, I don’t think that they would make it in today’s social setting.

    While tasty, the chicken little was about the cheapest, most processed two bites of food you could get. At 39 cents a piece they were good value, but today they would probably be 79 cents and I think most people would agree that they aren’t worth that much, even.

  26. CulinaryZerg says:

    An original Chicken Little appears to be nothing more than a McChicken patty on a dinner roll with mayo. Granted, McChicken-type patties are actually pretty good, but I think given a choice (e.g. not deluded by nostalgia) most people will consciously choose a real breast meat tender over pressed-formed dark meat patty every time.

    I bet if they sold mini-McChicken sandwiches at 3 for $1 for a year they’d be a similar craze.

  27. Jemtec says:

    The original KFC littles were very tasty.
    I wont say the quality of the chicken was better, because it wasn’t.
    It was just “different”.
    In a good way.
    The original littles were amazingly good for the price at the time.
    They had the “11 herbs and spices” taste, a square patty that fit perfectly on a dinner roll, and a slap of mayo for a then, .39 cents.
    The concept here was reasonable quality (they were not gross little MSC patties like you would get out of the typical grocery freezer) simple, and inexpensive.
    Remember this was 17+ years ago now so .39 cents might as well be 1.00 for the “modern” comparison cost wise.
    If you haven’t had one, you really just can’t draw any fair comparisons quite honestly.
    That part of the equation only works for some of us older guys that had them back upto I believe 1995 in a majority of KFC’s around the USA.
    Trust me, they were fine for the money, and even though they werent a solid tender piece of chicken, the original little hit the spot better than the new “little” in a way that is hard to explain.
    I really miss them.

    • Raiders757 says:

      Actually, compared to what you can get out of today’s freezer isle, yes, they are just like the little chicken sliders you can get at the store. Maybe not back then, as freezer isle chicken patties in those days were just completely horrible. They were indeed worth the price, but the little frozen my wife brought home a few weeks ago weren’t much different from what I remember the little’s being like sans the “11” herbs and spices. Forget the name brand, but it’s about as close as your going to get to the real thing these days.

      They did hit the spot, as you say, but they’re hardly worth all the hub-bub. If there’s anything we should be complaining about, it’s the actual chicken they sell at KFC these days. It’s not only small, but it doesn’t taste anything like it used to. Not even close.

  28. wenkie says:

    I had a couple of the new Chicken Littles a couple of weeks ago, and I was kinda surprised. I’m not usually a KFC chicken fan because it’s usually either dry or greasy, with too much breading. But this sandwich actually had a nice bit of meat in it, and it tasted good with the sweet bun, mayo, and pickle.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.