Photo: Michael Verhoef (Flickr)
Colonel Sanders has retired from his post on the signs of newer Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants.
Modern Fast Food
KFC, in an effort to re-brand and update, has announced it will create a more upscale chain called “KFC Eleven” without the iconic Southern gentleman. The name is a reference to the 11 herbs and spices in KFC’s original recipe.
The move comes in response to changing tastes. Young consumers are shunning fast food for “fast casual” chains, like Chipotle and Panera, while health-conscious consumers associate cartoons and symbols, like the Colonel, with unethical marketing.
KFC Eleven will offer flatbreads, rice bowls and only boneless chicken.
Mascots And Marketing
KFC is by no means the first fast food restaurant to undertake rebranding efforts in the last few years. Burger King has already dropped its iconic King after market research found that consumers thought he was “creepy.” Wendy’s has also updated its character.
Nonprofit groups have called upon McDonald’s to retire Ronald McDonald, the happy clown that has served as a mascot for decades. Groups say it’s irresponsible to market unhealthy food to children using friendly characters.
McDonald’s has retired Ronald’s sidekicks, like the Hamburglar and Grimace, and Ronald has taken a backseat in modern marketing.