KFC has always been known worldwide for having “finger-lickin’ good” chicken fillets and burgers but lately it has been giving in to India’s fondness for vegetarianism. Similar to MacDonald’s, KFC has placed vegetarian items on its menu to cater to customers; it also recently unveiled a segregated vegetarian menu to emphasize its newfound favoritism for vegetarian offerings.
A lot of people are having mixed feelings about KFC’s new veggie menu. Anupam Kumpar told Asian World that the new menu was “okay”, he said: “The taste was okay, prices are little higher compared to MacDonald’s. If you are looking for an affordable price and good taste, I would recommend MacDonald’s; but if price doesn’t matter, then KFC. Overall, I would rate KFC a 9 out of 10 and MacDonald’s an 8.” Kumpar is among the many students who rely on fast food outlets for a quick treat at a reasonable price.
The “So Veg So Good” campaign was officially launched on 9th April for the first time across KFC franchises globally. The vegetarian menu includes two new delicious products, Paneer Zinger and Veg Twister, along with the hot selling Potato Krisper Burger, Veg Strips, Veg Rockin’ Burger, and Veg Rice Bowl. Dhruv Kaul, director of marketing at KFC India believes this menu will serve the Indian community well; he was quoted saying: “KFC has always endeavored to create innovative menu options to suit local and regional palettes. We recognised an opportunity to deliver a significant vegetarian range for the Indian consumer, and to reach out to a broader target audience.”
The Indian consumer base didn’t have a unanimous response, some said: “KFC is not Indian enough; if KFC creates a veg menu for India then it will not be KFC, it will become KFV (Kentucky Fried Veg)”, while others said: “Good initiative by KFC to increase their market presence”. According to the Food and Agricultural Association of the United Nations, approximately 42% of Indian households are vegetarian, with 35% of weekdays being vegetarian for the rest of the non-vegetarian population.
Today, KFC is losing its originality for the Indian market; only time will tell if this business move is worth it or not. Regardless of what critics have to say, vegetarian food has a promising future. It is expected to have a big role in India, especially for fast food companies since a lot of urban consumers are starting to prefer vegetarian over non-vegetarian food as it is considered healthier and more economical.