Fast-food retailers must be thanking their lucky stars for the global recession. In times like these the welfare of food animals, consideration of trans fats and class aspiration goes out of the window.
People want value, ease and comfort, which is where fatty bad-for-you-food comes into its own.
This is all so counter-intuitive it beggars belief, but it plays back into the hands of the people who are secretly ashamed of buying cheap meat but maintain they can’t afford it. Back to good old KFC for a value bucket of chicken bits to feed the family and to hell with those posh nobs eating free-range fowl.
Predictably, this annoys me. If you ever see a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall or Jamie Oliver programme where the two well-meaning but slightly unhinged chefs encourage chavs to cook proper food, you’ll know that there’s always one who maintains that buying an organic chicken will leave her two plump children starving hungry. This woman is always fat, which makes a mockery of any such argument.
If anyone in the country had any sense they’d be stocking up on potatoes, carrots and parsnips. Show me a family of four and I’ll feed them for a week on a tenner. They might lose a bit of weight, but they’ll be a lot healthier.
But while the recession should play into the hands of the crusading chefs, it’s driven them back into the greasy arms of fast-food retailers. It’s madness. A Domino’s pizza costs 15 fucking quid.
KFC has chosen this time to unleash a charm offensive on the British public. Where previously it had gone with ‘yeah-but-it’s-really-tasty’ type ads, KFC now wants you to know that its chicken is fresh.
Fresh from a slaughterhouse where it was kicked around like a football, perhaps, but fresh nonetheless.
I couldn’t find the ad itself, but it involves a nice-enough lad talking about his love of food, particularly the chicken bits he rubs in flour a thousand times a day. There are some shots of salads – for women – and that’s about it.
Here’s what Jennelle Tilling, vice-president of marketing, KFC UK and Ireland, reckons:
“We know freshness and quality are increasingly important to the British consumer, so it’s great to do a campaign that lets them in on our secret to great tasting chicken – quality ingredients, freshly prepared.”
KFC has got some work to do, it would seem, in bolstering its public image. But, frankly, why should you care when you have a captive audience just waiting to shove its greasy face back into the trough at the slightest justification?
I give it to summer before they go back to working-class families sitting down to a variety bucket.
• By the way if you were expecting stuff about KFC not actually selling chicken, it’s not actually true. It’s simply that their food’s fucking horrible.