October 30, 2006


KFC plans 'important' trans fat 'milestone' (Bruce Horovitz, 10/29/06, USA TODAY)

KFC's fried chicken is about to become finger-lickin' trans-fat-less.

The chicken kingpin, often mocked as a poster child of fast food's nutritional negatives, on Monday will unveil plans to switch to a new soybean oil from a partially hydrogenated oil by April and eliminate the artery-clogging trans fats in its fried chicken sold in the USA.

The change in a major chain's signature product makes this one of fast food's most important concessions to the growing consumer demand for better-for-you eating.

Responding to the folks who consume your product isn't a concession, just good business sense.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 30, 2006 8:52 AM

But are they responding to their customers, or to busybody "activists" who'd take the bullet if you held a gun to their head and told them the other choice is to take a bite of that drumstick? How soon people forget McDonalds' repeated attempts to come up with so-called "healthy" items, and how well they're selling today.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at October 30, 2006 9:51 AM

Raoul is correct. If they were "responding to their customers" they'd double the trans-fats and offer deep fried batter dip as the side order.

Soon, all of us will be 'responding' to one NGO or another.

Posted by: Bruno at October 30, 2006 10:07 AM

Businesses don't give up profits to be politically correct. Fast food places have reaped bonanzas by positioning their food as healthier. They care about your money, not your heart.

Posted by: oj at October 30, 2006 11:20 AM

The activists are now starting to go after Omega-6 fatty acids ... which happen to be found in soybean oil.

Posted by: Joseph Hertzlinger at October 30, 2006 12:29 PM

I used to visit Hardee's a lot when they had fried chicked that was cooked in the same vegetable oil that they cooked the fries in. It was a product that made mincemeat of KFC in most markets.

Too bad no one outside the South knew how to sell the stuff. It would've forced KFC to get healthier long before this NGO browbeating.

Posted by: Brad S at October 30, 2006 12:50 PM

It's still no Harold's Chicken Shack.

"Get me a regular half, hot sauce, salt, and pepper, with extra hot sauce on the side."

And nothing's better than a sandwich made with the white bread Harold's gives you on the side, the extra chicken skin that falls off when you're eating, and some hot sauce.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at October 30, 2006 4:02 PM

Oooh.... I vaguely remember drunkenly stumbling up to a Harold's around 02:00 on several occasions for a "Chicken Sandwich". (The Wonder Bread helped soak up the grease.) And often had to wait in line. The bulletproof turntable on which they shoved the already transparent paper plate, and the handwritten menu on piece of note paper tacked up to the wall should give you an idea about the ambiance. (Except for Livers and Gizzards, Jim pretty much described then entire menu.) You knew that since the health dept. hadn't shut them down, they could easily afford the necessary bribes.

(Then there was the "House of Tiki" on the other side of the IC tracks...)

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at October 30, 2006 4:11 PM