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KFC to offer easier-to-eat boneless chicken in US

NEW YORK — In case Americans want to scarf down their fast-food even faster, KFC is stripping the bones out of its chicken.

The fast-food chain says it is introducing deep-fried boneless chicken pieces on April 14 as an alternative to its traditional breast, thigh, and drumstick pieces.

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The new offering reflects the growing popularity of nuggets and strips that are easier to eat on the go, as well as Americans’ seemingly endless desire for more convenient foods. KFC says nearly four out of five servings of chicken sold in the United States are boneless.

Based on customer trends, the chain says bones could eventually disappear from its menu.

‘‘Younger people don’t tend to be fans of bones — they’ve grown up with nuggets,’’ said KFC spokesman Rick Maynard, referring to people in their 20s and 30s.

Although KFC has more than 18,000 locations worldwide, the boneless chicken will only be offered in its 4,500 US locations.

The new chicken, which is skinless and comes in white or dark meat, are whole muscle pieces fileted off the bone and are about twice the size of KFC’s crispy strips. Customers will be able to order them for the chain’s meal deals, which include two pieces of chicken, a side, a biscuit, and a drink.

They also come in 10-piece buckets . The costs is the same as the regular fried chicken.

Howard Penney, a food industry analyst for Hedgeye Risk Management, noted that KFC has been struggling in the United States and that it has nothing to lose with the latest move. Even in the wings category, Penney noted that boneless varieties have been growing in popularity.

‘‘People don’t want to have to deal with the bones,’’ Penney said.

KFC is owned by Yum Brands Inc., which also operates Taco Bell and Pizza Hut.

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