How KFC Dropped Trans-Fat


Jan 03, 2007

KFC topped off 2 1/2 years of efforts in a recent announcement that it will switch from using trans-fat to an novel soy hybrid oil that is stable and doesn't need hydrogenation to have a long shelf life. It's an interesting story about the corporate will-power needed to change the old, and the alignment needed from franchisee to supply chain.

  1. KFC's CEO set the goal to get off of trans fat and the talented resources were put in place to get the job done.
  2. Next came numerous taste tests to make sure they had the right product and buy-in. The product faced a last panel of judges: the company's franchisee advisory council. They split 50-50; an indicator the new oil was acceptable to the most finicky eaters and sellers of traditional KFC chicken.
  3. The supply chain had to be created. A new plant, achieved through conventional cross-pollination methods, had been grown for the first time on just 100,000 acres in Iowa in 2005, a drop in the bucket compared to KFC's needs. But with the right price point, the supplier Monsanto predicts farmers will plant 1.5 million acres of the new soybean in 2007, a threefold increase from 2006.
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