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Kenyans Once Fought KFC, and They Won

Uncover how Kenyans took a stand against KFC and won, leading to a major shift in the fast-food giant’s approach to local sourcing. Learn about the changes and their impact on local farmers.

Yes, Kenyans really took on KFC and actually won. It’s a story of solidity, community spirit, and the power of consumer voices.

2 years ago, a potato shortage led KFC Kenya to make some questionable menu changes and unearthed some hard facts that most Kenyans weren’t aware of: The sourcing of potatoes.

But what started as a crisis turned into a remarkable turnaround, with KFC embracing local suppliers and winning back the hearts of Kenyan customers. Let’s plunge into how this happened and what it means for the future of fast food in Kenya.

The 2022 KFC Ugali Saga

KFC Ugali

Remember back in January 2022 when we actually boycotted KFC? It all started with a simple running out of chips and instead substituting it for Ugali…yeah diabolical…innit? And Burger King decided to troll them with that? Oooh, good times!

Also Read: The New KFC Kenya Menu with Prices

Burger King Kenya on Instagram trying to be Wendy’s account on Twitter decided to clap back and capitalize on the hurting of KFC with 6 words; ” We have ENOUGH fries for everyone.” But hey Burger King we are in Kenya and not North America, so it is chips, not fries, anyway, never been proud of having fast food wars in this country.

Burger King Response to KFC Running out of Fries
Burger King’s Response to KFC Running Out of Fries

Also Read: Is Burger King in Kenya Really That Terrible?

But first, you’re probably wondering how and why KFC ran out of potatoes during the festive December season. KFC imports its potatoes because they claim our locally grown ones “aren’t good enough” (that’s not their exact wording, but it’s how Kenyans on Twitter interpreted it).

That statement is what really made Kenyans angry, not the whole ugali thing. Serving ugali with fried chicken was just for laughs and giggles since it’s such a bizarre combo.

When KFC responded to someone who had said they had previously been turned away after proposing to supply them with potatoes, is when things really went downhill.

KFC Kenya Criticism Navigation

That statement looked all professional until you read between the lines. People thought KFC was basically saying our local potatoes aren’t safe for us to eat. You can see why that would tick people off. Plus, our farmers struggle to sell their potatoes, often at dirt-cheap prices to avoid them rotting, while KFC imports theirs from elsewhere.

So, Kenyans started a boycott, accusing KFC of not supporting local farmers. Then, KFC came out with a statement saying they’d partner with local institutions to use our potatoes.

I’ve got to hand it to the crisis management team; they handled it pretty well. They took the heat, made changes, and aimed to do better for everyone.

Now, two years later, KFC is all about that “Kenyan Made” brand, long after everyone had moved on (until I dug it up again). At least something good came out of the whole potato drama.

Current KFC Partnered Local Brands

KFC got the memo and it’s almost 100% Kenyan at this point, the chicken is supplied from KenChic, buns for their burgers from DPL Festive Bakery, ice cream from Dairyland, and potatoes from Simplifine.

Notably, Simplifine is a company not necessarily Kenyan, but works with small Kenyan farmers to oversee the whole potato production process from seeds and farm inputs to the resultant potatoes ensuring everything meets the required standards for partnered establishments like Yum Brands run KFC in Kenya.

So KFC no longer imports potatoes but uses locally produced ones, I think we won this battle!

Dairyland handles the ice cream side of business, so those KFC-branded ice creams are basically Dairyland, but better, I think Dairlyand supermarket ice creams are average at best, but the KFC-branded ones are really good and obviously cost more

Also Read: Review: 10 Best Supermarket Ice Cream Brands in Kenya

KFC is doing a really good job making everything local, well except for the Ketchup packets, the Heinz ones are really good and to be honest, no local brand can match those yet, so we will let that slide 🙂

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