Food Product of the Week! Everything at KFC
Neysa from Dissertation To Dirt writes a series about the edible atrocities available on our grocery store shelves. She has been kind enough to let us re-post them here. Enjoy – and try not to hurl.
I wanted to take some time this week and think about what the hell is happening at KFC. With the premier of the Double Down and their ongoing advertising campaign using the tried and true medium of college girls’ butts, KFC has been in food news a lot lately. With all the press and new menu items, you’d think KFC would be swimming in a pool of Kentucky fried money right about now. But strangely enough, KFC has reported a decrease in sales of around 7% for the last quarter. It seems that despite its attempts to lure us in, KFC is falling from our favor.
So what gives? Are the glittery new menu items an attempt to resuscitate a dying profit margin? Why aren’t they working? And, perhaps more importantly, how far is KFC willing to go to get our attention? Lately, KFC seems to be making a game of creating the most random, hodgepodge-iest, overindulgent dishes possible. Remember Famous Bowls?
Then again, “extreme” fast food items like the Double Down aren’t particular to KFC — there’s the Wendy’s Baconator, the XXL Chalupa, and the 1200 calorie BK Triple Whopper, for examples. Sometimes I think sensibility-shocking fast food items like these should be the topic of a cultural studies paper.
Still, looking at KFC’s menu, and reading comments online stating that people actually eat Double Downs, it got me thinking how foreign the world of fast food has become to me. In college I realized that, for me, there was a direct correlation between eating fast food and feeling terrible. Though it was once a fairly frequent part of my diet, I stopped eating it and never looked back. Since I began working on a farm, fast food barely even resembles food to me anymore. I don’t crave it. I barely pay attention to it. And I feel much better for it. I don’t judge when people regularly eat fast food. But I do wonder if they could have the same experience I did.
Now, from an outsider’s perspective, I’ve noticed a sort of two-pronged trajectory of fast food over the last few years: one, catering to health concerns by offering salads and low fat options. And two, all out scorn for moderation and normal eating habits, with products marketed as a kind of test of endurance for dietary excess (Double Down, I am looking at you). Could these items be a quiet protest against the sense of guilt we’re made to feel for eating fast food in the first place?
Whatever the reason for KFC’s expanding menu — cultural phenomenon or last ditch efforts from a struggling food franchise — the entire KFC menu–better yet, KFC as an entity–gets my vote for FPOW this week.
Do you eat fast food? (Don’t be shy). How often and where do you frequent?
**Have a great idea for FPOW?? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.**