KFC is known for selling addictive fried chicken to the masses. The KFC pressure fryer uses a secret 11 spice and herb mix. However, KFC has been changing its name from “Kentucky Fried Chicken” several times over the years. This has led to many conspiracy theories.
One of those popular theories (that has been proven false!) is that KFC was forced to change their name because of the word “chicken.” Rumors that the brand was reportedly using “mutant” chemically engineered birds sparked this wacky idea.
Outside of chicken conspiracy theories, the company claimed publicly that the name change from Kentucky Fried Chicken to KFC was to shy away from the word “fried” for potential health-conscious patrons. Find out the things your fast food worker isn’t telling you.
KFC’s 1991 name change from Kentucky Fried Chicken was really because of a trademark issue. All of it was due to a trademark dispute.
Here’s the truth: In 1990, the Commonwealth of Kentucky registered its name as a trademark. Kentucky was capitalizing upon the many brands and products that used their names to reduce debt, including the fast-food fried Chicken chain.
Anyone using the name “Kentucky” to run a business would need permission from the state and be subject to licensing fees. Kentucky Fried Chicken was rebranded as KFC.
Others followed their lead and changed their names. Due to the new fee, Neil Diamond’s song “Kentucky Woman”, was no longer heard on the radio.
KFC and Kentucky reached a settlement in November 2016 over the trademarked term “Kentucky.” The chain announced that they would revert to their previous name. Now, read about the secret that makes KFC’s fried chicken so crispy.
For 39 years, Kentucky Fried Chicken held tight to the name founder Colonel Harland Sanders gave it back in 1952. But in 1991, after four decades of finger licking goodness, the Louisville-based chicken chain ruffled feathers all over the world when it announced that it was changing its name to KFC.
The email chain letters that circulated shortly after the name change may be familiar to you. It spread the conspiracy theory that the restaurant was using genetically modified chickens.
The chain letter forced KFC to drop the “chicken” word from its name. KFC quickly disproved the claim but it hasn’t stopped mutant chicken rumors from popping up every so often. KFC was actually forced to address the claims again in 2014.
KFC spokesperson Rick Maynard stated that there is no truth to the urban legend. It has been proven false many times. “KFC only uses top-quality poultry from trusted suppliers like Tyson or Pilgrim’s Pride – the same brands that customers recognize from their local supermarkets.”
According to the chicken chain, KFC was chosen because it has fewer words. It would also make it easier for health-conscious customers to avoid the word “fried”.
Perhaps it’s because KFC is easier to pronounce with your mouth full. Or maybe KFC fits better on signs,” the company explains on its website. “In truth, we wanted our customers to know that we have more than just chicken fried chicken. Many were already calling KFC because it was easier to say.
However, a desire to be concise is not the only thing. Harvard Business Review claims that the name change was caused by trademark issues and licensing fees from the state of Kentucky.
Snopes reports that in 1990, the financially troubled Commonwealth of Kentucky trademarked its name. Anyone using the name “Kentucky” in business purposes would need to pay licensing fees.
KFC may be more popular than Kentucky Fried Chicken in terms of how it rolls off the tongue, but the real meat is the money. We’re not complaining. These 11 spices and herbs are our favorites.