You may have heard that at the end of May, KFC switched their oil from “responsibly sourced palm oil” to “high oleic canola oil” throughout all their restaurants in Australia. And they are spending extra cash to source non-genetically modified canola oil from Australian farms.
But why am I writing about it? When I was first contacted to attend a lunch at a KFC restaurant for a taste test and a chance to meet the Chief Marketing Officer, Nikki Lawson, I was intrigued.
Why would KFC change their oils? Well a number of reasons I’m told. Firstly, canola oil is healthier for us. It is a robust oil to withstand the high temperatures that is required in a restaurant like KFC.
Secondly, KFC “recognize the evolving agricultural involvements” and fair enough. The use of palm oil does not make people feel good.
I wanted to know whether this decision was consumer driven or an in-house company decision.
Nikki Lawson told me it was both. KFC are aware that palm oil doesn’t sit well with the consumer and KFC do genuinely look for healthier alternatives. Like introducing free range chicken.
You may laugh at that last statement. It’s KFC after all. It really doesn’t fall into the five food groups.
But there was a consensus amongst the other bloggers in the room that we know what KFC is. It’s not good for us; everyday. We all know that. And if Nikki Lawson tried to tell me that, I wouldn’t be stupid enough to tell you that. But she didn’t. KFC is meant to be a treat, she told us.
My husband worked on a documentary titled Hungry For Change. Now this documentary is quite compelling. It discusses food, our relationship with food and the tricks major food companies use to get us to keep coming back.
This was the other reason I was curious as to what KFC had to say.
In addition to changing oils KFC has decided to implement a salt reduction program. 10% in the core chicken menu; 17.5% in chip salt; 22% in buns and dinner rolls; 53% in tortillas. With more salt reductions to come this year.
I asked why the slow reduction? Why not just cut it out? Because a gradual reduction of time is more palatable than a drastic change. And it was comforting to know that this particular decision was not government legislated as it has been done for breakfast cereals. Can big corporations really care about more than just the bottom line? That is the general consensus right?
We all know that KFC, or any type of fast food, is not meant to be consumed regularly. And as I mentioned above, KFC concede that.
The one vital thing I’ve learned from Hungry for Change; raw food goes a long way to helping your metabolism and your overall health. And with KFC, I can add a salad to the meal.
How can I feed my kids KFC or any fast food after watching Hungry For Change? Kids will always want fast food. I did when I was a kid. And I remember when I was in highschool I consumed fast food like it was going out of fashion.
I realize that a total ban on junk food is a waste of time. It will just make them crave it more. But what I can do is try to incorporate healthy eating as best as I can. Hopefully it’s habit forming.
What about you? How do you feel about fast food? Do you prefer one over another? Does the fact that KFC are reducing their salt and have changed oils alter your opinion about them?
I was not paid for this post but was given 2 x $30 worth of gift vouchers for KFC. My kids were very excited and thought Christmas arrived early when we had KFC midweek. The other gift voucher was used for Mother’s Day lunch. That’s Australian right? Like eating lamb on Australia Day.