Nothing against KFC, they just happen to be the only fast food restaurant I have been to, somewhat consistently, in a long long time.

On summer holiday with my daughter, we went shopping and after a few hours had to stop to get something to eat. KFC was the closest place and it had the added advantage of being a place she knew so we popped in for a meal.

Our food was placed on a tray with this paper cover.

KFC in Reading, UK. Please click to enlarge so that you can read it properly.

On our return to Nigeria, our local KFC handed us our meals with this paper tray cover. ( I take my daughter to KFC about once a month or once every 6 weeks as a “treat”. I need to rethink that.)

KFC in Lagos, Nigeria. Please click to enlarge

Can you spot the difference? I know you can but I will still summarize.

KFC UK

KFC Nigeria

  • Lighter Options like Grilled Chicken
  • Not available
  • Offers a no-salt option for chips/French fries. You add salt to your chips if you want it.
  • Not available – Chips/French fries come salted
  • Cooking oil has been changed. No trans-fat
  • Not available. I also have to put here that their chicken is quite oily. I have had crispy and classic.
  • There are vegetables available as side dishes
  • No vegetables available as side dishes

 

I may have gone on but unfortunately (for the purpose of this post, not my health) I do not go to KFC often enough to know a lot more about their menu.

You may have some questions now, I am going to assume that you will ask these 3:

What does KFC Nigeria offer us? Fresh ingredients (arguable, really) and real cooks.

How do you know that they are not offering the same thing as KFC UK? If a company is not telling you what they are doing for you, it is safe to assume that they are not doing it. It is in their best interest to draw you in with a healthy menu. In this case, their silence says a lot. See how they advertised it in the UK KFC? Every single customer that gets a tray is told how KFC is looking out for them health-wise. It is important that they do that as it helps them attract and retain customers.

Why are we not getting the same treatment as those in the UK? The simple reasons are that we are not asking for it as consumers and our governmental regulatory bodies do not demand it of the companies that sell food and drink items to us.

It is expensive for any company (in this case, KFC) to undertake any changes from their original plan. The cost of changing cooking oils in the UK must have set them back quite bit but they would have had no choice as either the government or the people have demanded healthier food. Remember that in the UK they have begun to suffer obesity and obesity-related illnesses as well as other illnesses that have been linked to unhealthy diet or have been exacerbated by one (e.g hypertensive individuals have no business consuming a lot of salt). The stakes are quite high, because the people there are now more AWARE. 

In Nigeria, it would appear that we are waiting for Obesity (which is here actually), obesity related diseases and other illnesses linked to badto become really bad before we take action. This is in keeping with our tradition of being Reactive rather than Proactive.

Bonus question.

What can I do? Decide on how important eating healthy is to you. KFC is being upfront about who they are. You should be upfront about what is important to you. Vote for a healthier meal with your money. Verbally tell the staff what changes you are looking for. If enough people mention it, change will come. KFC is here to make money, not lose customers. 

Lastly, become more AWARE. 

11 Comments

Natural Nigerian

I remember having a conversation with my friend about how they were now coming to Nigeria because they had not only saturated the market abroad but also because people were on to them.

Reply
Teetee

have been saying this for years, it is a disaster waotong to gappen. Talk less of all the african restaurants it will put out of business. I hear there are a large amount of chinese outlets thus. I wonder in theirs do they eat banga and ewedu with starch from a nigerian restaurant? If not they have no business selling it in nogeria. Uk is one thing, all cultures are there. But, this one is not a good idea.

Reply
Lushstrands

I don’t think KFC will put any african restaurants out of business and if it does then the african restaurants need to up their game and compete better. Having the choice to go to various restaurants and eat different types of food is a good thing. The issue here the quality (or lack of quality) of the food and I agree with NN, the only people that can change this is us – the consumer. KFC is UK is health aware because their consumers demand it. We, Nigerians are not as health conscious as we should be. I don’t know how many people will buy the grilled chicken, garden salads and saltless fries but like NN said, KFC came here to make money, I am sure if we complain they will listen and if they don’t, we will stop patronizing them. Thankfully, we have options.

Reply
Mrs. Night Owl

I hope this isn’t a double post…

Great article. I thought it was interesting that you mentioned obesity. Considering most people think that obesity comes from eating too much, opposed to eating too much of UNHEALTHY foods. I know there are other factors, but man the garbage that we eat without even knowing is what rattles me.

I’ve been altering my eating habits for me and my family, over the course of 10 years.

Whether in the UK, Nigeria or the USA, choices really do begin with the individual, but it must also be addressed in the spirit of community.

I really think that we can alter the course of life through healthier living, which includes reducing/eliminating processed foods.

Reply
Natural Nigerian

I love this comment! You are so right about how we think that Obesity is eating too much rather than too much of unhealthy food. I completely agree with every thing you have said.

Reply
African Naturalista

Sadly, we don’t make demands in Nigeria because we are too busy tackling other problems to care. And bizness people know this, so they use it against us. KFC UK is not run by the same people that run KFC Nigeria. Indians own the one in Nigeria, and many of them are very good with cutting corners.

Reply
Natural Nigerian

You are right that we side-tracked by other things. I know that we have a lot of problems which we are constantly tackling but I do think that we need to prioritize and decide on what is most important. Health? Money? Contract? Health trumps all because without it, those things do not matter at all.

I believe that some Indians own KFC franchises in the West – they abide by the rules because they are made to. If we hold them accountable here, they will have no choice but to give us what we want.

Reply
Thomisyn

Well am not a fast food freak, but if u come from my part of nigeria and heard something like this, you would appreciate how we were brought up.

Reply

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