Kentucky Fried Marketing


We’ve got our eyes on you, KFC.

For years now you’ve been a cornerstone of the fast food movement, bucketing out deep-fried meat and refined carbs in every direction and every conceivable portion size – relentlessly filling American faces for decades.

You’ve taken criticism on the chin, which was brave of you because there’s been plenty of it – from health organisations despairing at your liberal use of hydrogenated oils (prompting you to recently switch to trans fat-free oils, along with all your competitors, of course) to PETA’s fury over your somewhat spotty animal rights record. Which is putting it mildly. Truth be told, as unashamedly bonkers as PETA often are, the term “battery hen” makes me want to strip naked and hand out leaflets until I’m arrested. Yet despite all that, KFC, you’re a survivor.


You make fast food. It’s fast food. That means, inexorably and unavoidably, the food you make is of the fast variety. It’s not healthy food. You’ve taken great pains in recent years to make your food healthier – but that’s a world away from being good, green people-fuel. Putting aside the continuing problem with your reliance on incarcerated animals living in undeniable squalor and misery, your product falls firmly into the category of Food That Seems A Better Idea After A Few Beers.

It’s generally wildly caloric and bulging with fat. Your latest effort is an admirable step away from the fat fryers, releasing a range of grilled chicken with reduced calories and sodium – all while you’re developing new fried products in the background, of course. But your newly grilled products are not healthy. They’re  just less unhealthy.

So keep your slice of the market – though we suggest that if you wish to expand it, be nicer to animals, since people are big on that nowadays. Grill everything in sight, and continue to keep America (and the world, for that matter) bright-eyed and greasy-lipped.

But don’t pretend to be what you aren’t, please, or we’ll have a new word to fling at you.

Image: pdra

Mike Sowden

Mike Sowden is a freelance writer based in the north of England, obsessed with travel, storytelling and terrifyingly strong coffee. He has written for online & offline publications including Mashable, Matador Network and the San Francisco Chronicle, and his work has been linked to by Lonely Planet, World Hum and Lifehacker. If all the world is a stage, he keeps tripping over scenery & getting tangled in the curtain - but he's just fine with that.