For all you lovers of Kentucky Fried Chicken, here’s an interesting story. Today, the ABC was reporting on news that the retailer is forging ahead with its plans to open a store which also serves alcohol. The proposed store (to open in Parramatta) will serve certain alcoholic drinks to compliment (!) their menu.
In a press release, KFC headquarters confirmed that the Church Street, Parramatta store would host the first trial run of the idea. And the reason for the new addition? According to the company, it “hopes to introduce a new KFC experience in Parramatta’s CBD in the near future, serving beer and cider as part of its menu”. A ‘new KFC experience’, you may be asking yourself? It all sounds dubious. And it is.
The ubiquitous company has claimed that it can already seel liquor in many of its international stores throughout Europe and Asia. In fact, KFC are joining a local movement to allow the service of alcohol in chain stores (Nando’s, Mad Mex, Guzman y Gomez and Grill’d already sell alcohol in their stores).
The Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA), the relevant authority in the matter, has confirmed that it has received an application from the company, but that it is also awaiting a community impact statement from the multi-billion dollar franchise. The statement will be difficult to substantiate, given the history of alcohol service in Australia, and the prevalence of KFC stores in middle and low income communities.
“It sounds like one of those harebrained schemes that marketing people come up with,” Mike Daube, Professor of Health Policy at Curtin University, told the ABC. “It really is quite absurd to be associating a product like KFC with alcohol. This is a product that is massively marketed to kids and to families and the last thing we need is kids associating a child-friendly brand with alcohol.”
Mr. Daube’s claims are genuine, with the company sponsoring many family friendly events (such as the cricket) and simultaneously occupying a space as a ‘family favourite’ meal. “If they want to run pubs, let them run pubs, but don’t market KFC in association with alcohol. We don’t need more normalisation of alcohol for kids.”
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