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KFC Corporation, or KFC, founded and also known as Kentucky Fried Chicken, is a chain of fast food restaurants based in Louisville, Kentuckymarker. KFC has been a brand and operating segment, called a "concept", of Yum! Brands since 1997 when that company was spun off from PepsiCo as Tricon Global Restaurants Inc.

KFC primarily sells chicken in form of pieces, wraps, salads and sandwiches. While its primary focus is fried chicken, KFC also offers a line of roasted chicken products, side dishes and desserts. Outside North America, KFC offers beef based products such as hamburgers or kebabs, pork based products such as ribs and other regional fare.

The company was founded as Kentucky Fried Chicken by Colonel Harland Sanders in 1952, though the idea of KFC's fried chicken actually goes back to 1930. The company adopted the abbreviated form of its name in 1991. Starting in April 2007, the company began using its original name, Kentucky Fried Chicken, for its signage, packaging and advertisements in the United Statesmarker as part of a new corporate re-branding program; newer and remodeled restaurants will have the new logo and name while older stores will continue to use the 1980s signage. Additionally, Yum! continues to use the abbreviated name freely in its advertising.

History

The restaurant in North Corbin, Kentucky where Colonel Sanders developed Kentucky Fried Chicken


Born and raised in Henryville, Indianamarker, Sanders passed through several professions in his lifetime. Sanders first served his fried chicken in 1930 in the midst of the Great Depression at a gas station he owned in North Corbin, Kentuckymarker. The dining area was named "Sanders Court & Café" and was so successful that in 1936 Kentucky Governor Ruby Laffoon granted Sanders the title of honorary Kentucky Colonel in recognition of his contribution to the state's cuisine. The following year Sanders expanded his restaurant to 142 seats, and added a motel he bought across the street. When Sanders prepared his chicken in his original restaurant in North Corbin, he prepared the chicken in an iron skillet, which took about 30 minutes to do, too long for a restaurant operation. In 1939, Sanders altered the cooking process for his fried chicken to use a pressure fryer, resulting in a greatly reduced cooking time comparable to that of deep frying. In 1940 Sanders devised what came to be known as his Original Recipe.

The Sanders Court & Café generally served travelers, often those headed to Floridamarker, so when the route planned in the 1950s for what would become Interstate 75 bypassed Corbinmarker, he sold his properties and traveled the U.S. to sell his chicken to restaurant owners. The first to take him up on the offer was Pete Harman in South Salt Lake, Utahmarker; together, they opened the first "Kentucky Fried Chicken" outlet in 1952. By the early 1960s Kentucky Fried Chicken was sold in over 600 franchised outlets in both the United States and Canada. One of the longest-lived franchisees of the older Col. Sanders' chicken concept, as opposed to the KFC chain, was the Kenny Kings chain. The company owned many Northern Ohio diner-style restaurants, the last of which closed in 2004.Sanders sold the entire KFC franchising operation in 1964 for $2 million USD Since that time, the chain has been sold three more times: to Heublin in 1971, and most recently to PepsiCo in 1986, which made it part of its Tricon Global Restaurants division, which in turn was spun off in 1997, and has now been renamed to Yum! Brands. Additionally, Colonel Sanders' nephew, Lee Cummings, took his own Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises (and a chicken recipe of his own) and converted them to his own "spin-off" restaurant chain, Lee's Famous Recipe Chicken.

Today, some of the older KFC restaurants have become famous in their own right. One such restaurant is located in Marietta, Georgiamarker. This store is notable for a tall sign that looks like a chicken. The sign, known locally as the Big Chickenmarker, was built for an earlier fast-food restaurant on the site called Johnny Reb's Chick, Chuck and Shake. It is often used as a travel reference point in the Atlanta area by locals and pilots.

The secret recipe

The Colonel's secret flavor recipe of 11 herbs and spices that creates the famous "finger lickin' good" chicken remains a trade secret. Portions of the secret spice mix are made at different locations in the United States, and the only complete, handwritten copy of the recipe is kept in a vault in corporate headquarters. On September 9, 2008, the one complete copy was temporarily moved to an undisclosed location under extremely tight security while KFC revamped the security at its headquarters. Before the move, KFC disclosed the following details about the recipe and its security arrangements:
  • The recipe, which includes exact amounts of each component, is written in pencil on a single sheet of notebook paper and signed by Sanders.
  • The recipe was locked in a filing cabinet with two separate combination locks. The cabinet also included vials of each of the 11 herbs and spices used.
  • Only two executives had access to the recipe at any one time. KFC refuses to disclose the names and titles of either executive.
  • One of the two executives said that no one had come close to guessing the contents of the secret recipe, and added that the actual recipe would include some surprises.


On February 9, 2009, the secret recipe returned to KFC's Louisville headquarters in a more secure, computerized vault.

In 1983, writer William Poundstone examined the recipe in his book Big Secrets. He reviewed Sanders' patent application, and advertised in college newspapers for present or former employees willing to share their knowledge. From the former he deduced that Sanders had diverged from other common fried-chicken recipes by varying the amount of oil used with the amount of chicken being cooked, and starting the cooking at a higher temperature (about ) for the first minute or so and then lowering it to for the remainder of the cooking time. Several of Poundstone's contacts also provided samples of the seasoning mix, and a food lab found that it consisted solely of sugar, flour, salt, black pepper and monosodium glutamate (MSG). He concluded that it was entirely possible that, in the years since Sanders sold the chain, later owners had begun skimping on the recipe to save costs. Following his buyout in 1964, Colonel Sanders himself expressed anger at such changes, saying:
"That friggin' ... outfit .... They prostituted every goddamn thing I had. I had the greatest gravy in the world and those sons of bitches they dragged it out and extended it and wa­tered it down that I'm so goddamn mad."


Ron Douglas, author of the book "America's Most Wanted Recipes," also claims to have figured out KFC's secret recipe.

Products

Packaging

The famous paper bucket that KFC uses for its larger sized orders of chicken and has come to signify the company was originally created by Wendy's restaurants founder Dave Thomas. Thomas was originally a franchisee of the original Kentucky Fried Chicken and operated several outlets in the Columbus, Ohiomarker area. His reasoning behind using the paper packaging was that it helped keep the chicken crispy by wicking away excess moisture. Thomas was also responsible for the creation of the famous rotating bucket sign that came to be used at most KFC locations in the US.

Menu items

This is a list of menu items sold at KFC.

Chicken

  • KFC's specialty is fried chicken served in various forms. KFC's primary product is pressure-fried pieces of chicken made with the original recipe. The other chicken offering, extra crispy, is made using a garlic marinade and double dipping the chicken in flour before deep frying in a standard industrial kitchen type machine.
  • Kentucky Grilled Chicken – This marinated grilled chicken is targeted towards health-conscious customers. It features marinated breasts, thighs, drumsticks, and wings that are coated with the Original Recipe seasonings before being grilled. It has less fat, calories, and sodium than the Original Recipe fried chicken. Introduced in April 2009.
  • KFC has two lines of sandwiches: its "regular" chicken sandwiches and its Snackers line. The regular sandwiches are served on either a sesame seed or corn dusted roll and are made from either whole breast fillets (fried or roasted), chopped chicken in a sauce or fried chicken strips. The Snackers line are value priced items that consist of chicken strips and various toppings. In the UKmarker, Australia and New Zealandmarker, sandwiches are referred to as "burgers"; there is the chicken fillet burger (a chicken breast fillet coated in an original-recipe coating with salad garnish and mayonnaise) and a Zinger Burger (as with the former but with a spicier coating and salsa). Both of these are available as "tower" variants, which include a slice of cheese and a hash brown.
  • A variety of smaller finger food products are available at KFC including chicken strips, wings, nuggets and popcorn chicken. These products can be ordered plain or with various sauces, including several types of barbecue sauces and buffalo sauce. They also offer potato wedges.
  • Several pies have been made available from KFC. The Pot Pie is a savory pie made with chicken, gravy and vegetables. In the second quarter of 2006, KFC introduced its variation on Shepherd's pie called the Famous Bowl. Served in a plastic bowl, it is layered with mashed potatoes or rice, gravy, corn, popcorn chicken, and cheese, and is served with a biscuit. The bowl had been available at KFC's special test market store in Louisville since the third quarter of 2005.
  • The KFC Twister is a wrap that consists of either chicken strips or roasted chicken, tomato, lettuce and (pepper) mayonnaise wrapped in a tortilla. In Europe, the Twister is sold in two varieties: 1) the Grilled Twister (chicked strips), and 2) the Grilled Mexican twister/Spicy Toasted Twister (UK) (chicken breast supplemented by tortilla chips and salsa, UK: adds only salsa to pepper mayonnaise),
  • KFC Fillers are a sub, available in four varieties over the summer period in Australia.
  • Shish kebab – in several markets KFC sells kebabs.
  • Kentucky Barbecued Chicken – barbecued chicken dipped in the original recipe
  • Wrapstar is a variant of the KFC Twister, consisting of chicken strips with salsa, cheese, salad, pepper mayonnaise and other ingredients, contained in a compressed tortilla.


Other products

Coleslaw
  • In some international locations, KFC may sell hamburgers, pork ribs or fish. In the U.S., KFC began offering the Fish Snacker sandwich during Lent in 2006. The Fish Snacker consists of a rectangular patty of Alaskan Pollock on a small bun, and is the fifth KFC menu item in the Snacker category.
  • Some international locations also may sell KFC 'Mashies' - balls of mashed potato cooked in original recipe batter
  • Three types of salads (which can be topped with roasted or fried chicken) are available at KFC: Caesar, house, and BLT salads (in the US).
  • The Boneless Banquet
  • Zinger Burger – A regular sized burger which regularly consists of a boneless fillet of hot and spicy chicken, lettuce and mayonnaise in a burger bun. Cheese, tomato, bacon and pineapple can be added upon request. Barbecue sauce can also replace/join the mayonnaise.
  • Chili Cheese Fries – By 2007, 2 former KFC/A&W Restaurants locations in Berlin and Cologne, Germany had reverted to KFC-only locations and the third location in Garbsen (by Hannover) was closed in 2005. The only remnant from the former A&W menu are the Chili Cheese Fries which were added to the systemwide KFC Germany menu.
  • Parfait desserts – "Little Bucket Parfaits" in varieties such as Fudge Brownie, Chocolate Crème (once called the Colonel's Little Fudge Bucket), Lemon Crème and Strawberry Shortcake are available at most locations in the US.
  • Sara Lee Desserts – Available in either Cookies and Cream Cheesecake or Choc Caramel Mousse.


Sides



Discontinued products

  • The Colonel's Rotisserie Gold – This product was introduced in the 1990s as a response to the Boston Market chain's roasted chicken products, and a healthier mindset of the general public avoiding fried food. Purportedly made from a "lost" Col. Sanders recipe, it was sold as a whole roaster or a half bird.
  • Tender Roast Chicken – This product was an off-shoot of 'The Colonel's Rotisserie Gold'. Instead of whole and half birds, customers were given quarter roasted chicken pieces. For a time, customers could request chicken "original", "Extra Tasty Crispy", or "Tender Roast".
  • Chicken Little sandwich – a value oriented sandwich that sold for $0.39(USD) in the U.S. during the late 1980s and early 1990s. It was a small chicken patty with mayonnaise on a small roll, similar to White Castle's mini chicken sandwich.
  • Extra Tasty Crispy (ETC) – Chicken much like the Extra Crispy served today, except ETC was prepared using chicken that had been soaking for 15 minutes in a special marinade machine. There is some speculation that the marinade may have been made with trans-fats, and KFC boasts to no longer use trans-fats in their chicken, the known ingredients were garlic and chicken stock. In the summer of 2007, KFC started marketing the chicken just as "Extra Crispy" without the marinade.
  • Kentucky Nuggets were a chicken nugget product available at KFC until 1996. No reason has been given for their discontinuation.
  • Smokey Chipotle – Introduced in April 2008. The chicken was dipped in chipotle sauce then doubled breaded and fried. It has been discontinued since August 2008.


Nutritional value

KFC formerly used partially hydrogenated oil in its fried foods. This oil contains relatively high levels of trans fat, which increases the risk of heart disease. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) filed a court case against KFC, with the aim of making it use other types of oils or make sure customers know about trans fat content immediately before they buy food.

In October 2006, KFC announced that it would begin frying its chicken in trans fat-free oil. This would also apply to their potato wedges and other fried foods, however, the biscuits, macaroni and cheese, and mashed potatoes would still contain trans fat. Trans fat-free soybean oil was introduced in all KFC restaurants in the U.S. by April 30, 2007. CSPI announced that it would immediately drop its lawsuit against KFC and was hopeful that this would create a ripple effect on other restaurants or fast food chains that prepare food rich in trans fat. "If KFC, which deep-fries almost everything, can get the artificial trans fat out of its frying oil, anyone can," CSPI executive director Michael Jacobson said in a statement.

Advertising

KFC's logo used from 1997 until November 2006
Early television advertisements for KFC regularly featured Colonel Sanders licking his fingers and talking to the viewer about his secret recipe. Despite his death in 1980 Sanders remains a key symbol of the company in its advertising and branding.

Throughout the mid 1980s, KFC called on Will Vinton Studios to produce a series of humorous, claymation ads. These most often featured a cartoon-like chicken illustrating the poor food quality of competing food chains, mentioning prolonged freezing and other negative aspects. TV ads also featured Foghorn Leghorn advising Henery Hawk to visit the restaurant for better chicken.

In the 80s, KFC was an associate sponsor for Junior Johnson's NASCAR Winston Cup Series cars, with such drivers as Darrell Waltrip, Neil Bonnett, and Terry Labonte.

In 1997 KFC briefly re-entered the NASCAR Winston Cup Series as sponsor of the #26 Darrell Waltrip Motorsports Chevrolet with driver Rich Bickle at the Brickyard 400.
By the late 1990s, the stylized likeness of Colonel Sanders as the KFC logo had been modified. KFC ads began featuring an animated version of "the Colonel" voiced by Randy Quaid with a lively and enthusiastic attitude. He would often start out saying "The Colonel here!" and moved across the screen with a cane in hand. The Colonel was often shown dancing, singing, and knocking on the TV screen as he spoke to the viewer about the product.

The animated Colonel is uncommon today. Still using a humorous slant, the current KFC campaign revolves mostly around customers enjoying the food. It also features a modified version of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama" as the theme song for practically all its commercials, though the restaurant actually hails from Kentucky.

In 2006, KFC claimed to have made the first logo visible from outer space, though Readymix has had one since 1965. KFC says "It marked the official debut of a massive global re-image campaign that will contemporize 14,000-plus KFC restaurants in over 80 countries over the next few years." The logo was built from 65,000 one-foot-square tiles, and it took six days on site to construct in early November. The logo was placed in the Mojave Desert near Rachel, Nevadamarker. It is located in the northern section of Rachel, Nevadamarker at .

Many KFC locations are co-located with one or more of Yum! Brands restaurants, Long John Silver's, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, or A&W Restaurants. Many of these locations behave like a single restaurant, offering a single menu with food items from both restaurants.

The resurrected Kentucky Fried Chicken logo
One of KFC's latest advertisements is a commercial advertising its "wicked crunch box meal". The commercial features a fictional black metal band called "Hellvetica" performing live, the lead singer then swallows fire. The commercial then shows the lead singer at a KFC eating the "wicked crunch box meal" and saying "Oh man that is hot".

In 2007, the original, non-acronymic Kentucky Fried Chicken name was resurrected and began to reappear on company marketing literature and food packaging, as well as some restaurant signage.

Criticisms

Environmental concerns

KFC in the US has been accused by Greenpeace of a large destruction of the Amazon Rainforest, because the supply of soy used for chicken food that KFC receives from Cargill has been traced back to the European KFC. Cargill has reportedly been exporting soy illegally for several years. The Greenpeace organization researched the issue and brought it to the attention of the parent company YUM! Brands, Inc. The parent company denied the illegal operation, and said that their supply of soy is grown in parts of Brazil. Greenpeace has called on KFC to stop purchasing soy from Cargill, to avoid contributing to the destruction of the Amazon.

Trademark disputes

In 1971, Sanders sued Heublein Inc., KFC's parent company at the time, over the alleged misuse of his image in promoting products he had not helped develop. In 1975, Heublein Inc. unsuccessfully sued Sanders for libel after he publicly referred to their gravy as "sludge" with a "wallpaper taste".

In May 2007 KFC (Great Britain) requested that Tan Hill Innmarker, in the Yorkshire Dalesmarker, North Yorkshire, UK refrain from using the term 'Family Feast' to describe its Christmas menu,although this problem was quickly resolved with the pub being allowed to continue use of the term.

Wages and working conditions



Like many fast food outlets, KFC employs a high proportion of young, unskilled workers, at or just above minimum wage, and its workers are not unionized. In New Zealandmarker, KFC youth workers earn NZ$10.13 an hour. Staff at the Balmoral, Aucklandmarker store went on strike for two hours on December 3, 2005 after Restaurant Brands, the franchise holder, offered no wage increase in contract negotiations. In March 2006, Restaurant Brands agreed to phase out youth rates in New Zealand, although no date was set.

Many stores in western Canada are unionized with the Canadian Auto Workers, and as a result many non-franchise stores in western Canada pay higher than minimum wage.

Animal rights

Since 2003, animal rights and welfare organizations, led by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), have been protesting KFC’s treatment of the animals used for its products. These groups claim that the recommendations of the KFC Animal Welfare Advisory Council have been ignored. Adele Douglass, a former member of the council, said in an SEC filing reported on by the Chicago Times, that KFC "never had any meetings. They never asked any advice, and then they touted to the press that they had this animal-welfare advisory committee. I felt like I was being used."

KFC responded by saying the chickens used in its products are bought from suppliers like Perdue Farms, Tyson Foods, and Pilgrim's Pride, and that these suppliers are routinely monitored for animal welfare violations. Several PETA undercover investigations and videos of these and other KFC suppliers purporting to show chickens being beaten, ripped apart, and thrown against walls contradict KFC’s claims. PETA has criticised some of the practices of chicken breeders, such as beak trimming and overcrowding, but KFC says its suppliers meets UK legal requirements. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairsmarker recommends a maximum stocking density of 34 kg—around 30 chickens—per square metre, and say that in circumstances where beak trimming needs to be carried out to prevent the birds injuring each other, only one third of the beak should be trimmed "measured from the tip towards the entrance of the nostrils". PETA states that they have held more than 12,000 demonstrations at KFC outlets since 2003 because of this alleged mistreatment of chickens by KFC suppliers.

In June 2008, KFC Canada agreed to PETA's demands for better welfare standards, including favoring suppliers who use controlled-atmosphere killing (CAK) of chickens, and other welfare standards as well as introducing a vegan sandwich at 65% of its outlets. PETA has called off its campaign against KFC Canada, but continues to demonstrate against KFC elsewhere in the world.

Hygiene

In February, 2007, a KFC/Taco Bell outlet in New York Citymarker was found to be rat infested. A video showing the rats running wild inside the restaurant was shown on television news bulletins around the world, as well as disseminated on the internet via sites such as YouTube.

Two KFC outlets in Sydneymarker, Australia, were fined record amounts for having unhygienic food preparation areas. Inspectors found layers of grease and dirt, as well as evidence of vermin. The KFC stores had been repeat offenders, and had ignored previous warnings to keep their restaurants clean. They were charged with 11 breaches of food hygiene laws.

International operations

Global locations

Countries with KFC restaurants

Key:

Blue: Countries currently with KFC restaurants
(Listed alphabetically by country)

  • PFK (Poulet Frit Kentucky) in Quebec
  • (肯德基)




  • (Franchised by Ibersol Group)




Gallery

Image:KFC Home Base.jpg|KFC in Wagga Wagga, New South Walesmarker, AustraliaImage:Kfcdhk2.jpg| Gulshan, Dhakamarker, BangladeshmarkerImage:KFC in Hohhot.jpg|Hohhotmarker, Inner Mongolia, ChinamarkerImage:KFC_Hohe_Straße_120-122,_Cologne.jpg|KFC at Hohe Straße 120–122 (former Pizza Hut location), one of 3 KFC locations in Cologne, GermanymarkerImage:New Market Fast Food.JPG|co-located KFC and Domino's in Kolkatamarker, IndiamarkerImage:Bfc shiraz.jpg|KFC clone (BFC) in Shirazmarker, IranmarkerImage:KFC kingston.jpg|Kingstonmarker, JamaicamarkerImage:KFC2.jpg|Keihan Moriguchi City station, Osaka, JapanImage:Kfcq8.jpg|Kuwait Citymarker, KuwaitmarkerImage:KFCBangkok.jpg|Bangkok, ThailandmarkerImage:KFC sg.jpg|SingaporemarkerImage:KFC Philippines.jpg|Angeles Citymarker, PhilippinesmarkerImage:Kfcgrenada.jpg|KFC in Meville Street Saint George's, Grenadamarker

See also



Notes

  1. I've Got A Secret interview, originally broadcast April 6, 1964 (rebroadcast by GSN March 30, 2008).
  2. According to a profile of KFC done by the Food Network television show Unwrapped.
  3. Poundstone, pp 20-21.


External links




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