Fast food giant Kentucky Fried Chicken reveals it will never market products to children
Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) meals should be enjoyed in moderation, according to the company’s managing director for MENA, Pakistan, Turkey and Asia, Sabir Sami.
As of 2018 there were 22, 621 KFC stores throughout the world, while there are currently 774 stores operating in the MENA region.
A study carried out by researchers at the University of Liverpool looked at the calorie content of 13,500 meals from six fast food chains in the UK, and revealed that customers at McDonald's, Wimpy and Burger King were consuming an average of 751 calories.
KFC, where the average meal contained 987 calories, was the worst offender among fast food chains.
Sami told Arabian Business: “Like everything else in life, I think moderation is the key. An excess of anything in life will probably lead to some sort of trouble and your nutrition is a key part of that moderation in everything that you do.
“I think if you enjoy KFC occasionally, or maybe once, twice, thrice a month, there’s nothing wrong with that. We encourage consumers to be healthy and to be active and to enjoy a balanced diet, so within that context it’s fine.”
The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) has reported that GCC countries have one of the highest prevalence of diabetes and obesity in the world, given the sedentary lifestyles and increased consumption of foods that are high in calories and sugar.
Among the most offending items on the KFC menu is the Mighty Zinger, with 1,028kcal, 54g of fat and 8g salt; the Mattaffee (743kcal, 38.4g fat, 4.9g salt), and the Rizo Arabiatta (550kcal, 6.2g fat, 10.6g salt). While in the desserts, the Krushers, Chocolate Krumble weighs in at 651kcal, 13.4g fat and 1.2g salt.
However, Sami said there were plenty of healthy alternatives. “If you come to KFC and you want to be healthier in terms of your choices, you have choices. You don’t want French fries, you can have corn, you can switch. If you don’t want to have soda but prefer to take a juice, we have those options; if you want water, we have that option,” said Sami.
“You can switch if you wish to and we have catered to that switch and supported it. We give choice and we believe that consumers should make informed choices that are best for them and their families, and within that we want to make sure we have all options available.”
Sami also revealed the company would not deviate from its ‘unwritten policy’, which is not to market their products to children.
He said: “We feel that parents should make the informed decision on what their child should eat and how much they should eat. You will not see, if you go to stores here, children’s toys or any marketing tool directed towards children.”