I’m intrigued by this. New Zealanders seem to have whipped themselves into a frenzy over something called a Double Down Burger. Now, there’s nothing better than a tasty burger and chips if you ask me. Haven’t had one in about a year. I have to avoid them because I could literally eat burgers and chips every night. I’m not talking Maccas or KFC here people. I’m talking home-made burgers or burgers from the local eating hole. Places that know how to make a good old-fashioned burger with beetroot, lettuce, cheese and fried egg.

Yum. Where was I? So…KFC have this burger called a Double Down. I don’t think I’ve ever had a KFC burger. I once ate some KFC chook dish and found it all too greasy. That was when they were known as Kentucky Fried Chicken (smart rebranding to rename themselves as KFC if you ask me). The KFC website says:

“The new KFC Double Down sandwich is real! This one-of-a-kind sandwich features two thick and juicy boneless white meat chicken filets (Original Recipe®), two pieces of bacon, two melted slices of Monterey Jack and pepper jack cheese and Colonel’s Sauce. This product is so meaty, there’s no room for a bun!”.

I don’t quite understand that first sentence: what is an unreal Double Down? Or do they mean people are having hallucinations about the Double Down (as in “unreal man”!).  I must say the photo on the website looks tempting.

But is this “burger” worth abusing KFC staff over? Are New Zealanders so intent on clogging up their arteries with 32 grams of fat that they’d stampede KFC? Apparently, yes – because 16,000 Double Downs were sold in NZ within the first three hours of its launch here. This new chook “burger” seemed to get more publicity than the upcoming Budget or Bin Laden carking it.

Looks to me like New Zealanders have been duped by extremely clever viral marketing. From what I can tell, KFC has stood back whilst the media, nutritionists and consumers have debated the pros and cons of the Double Down, ensuring massive free publicity for KFC. Social media has played a role. There’s a Facebook page dedicated to bringing the Double Down to New Zealand. On Twitter, I saw NZ tweeps carrying on about how delighted they were that the Double Down was being launched and it was a trending topic (#doubledown). You can read a selection of tweets here.

What intrigues me is why New Zealanders are being sucked in by this Double Down business. I admit I haven’t had one and have no intention of having one. Sounds like a heart attack waiting to happen. Is it curiosity that would make people line up outside KFC? I think the Double Down is a “limited edition” – only available for five weeks. What happened to the swing towards healthier eating options, which of course Maccas picked up on very well.

The last (scary) word on the Double Down I’ll leave to a nutritionist who says:

“When you eat food like this, it has a subtle effect on your blood chemistry and pushes it to the more acid end of the spectrum which is where all of our lifestyle diseases develop and the body tries to take that acid away from the organs“.