The sad story of Kentucky baked chicken

It would appear that those desiring fried chicken don’t quite take to baked chicken:

KFC has revealed that its attempts to encourage people to eat healthier baked products was an £8 million waste of time.

A senior executive for the fast food chain said the roll-out of ovens in its restaurants had been largely pointless because customers were reluctant to move away from the traditional deep fried meals

Jenny Packwood, head of brand engagement at KFC UK and Ireland, told the Public Health England (PHE) conference the company had abandoned the project after disappointing sales of the Brazer grilled chicken sandwich, launched in 2011, the Rancher sandwich in 2012 and a pulled chicken dish which came out in 2015.

She also said the company had got “a lot of grief” about its modified fries, which although still deep fried, are thicker, meaning a lower surface area - the part which soaks up oil - per helping.

The move has resulted in an 18 per cent reduction in calories and a 12 per cent reduction in fat.

“It didn’t go brilliantly well,” she said.

“We tried and failed to launch a non-fried product.

This of rather greater importance than just being able to have a giggle at PHE’s expense. You know, the people don’t want what PHE says they should.

That importance being that a company, just like any other organisation, is simply a way of getting things done. There’s a certain amount of capital - these days brand and human capital being vastly more important than the physical kind - optimised for the task at hand. The point being that if we change the task then it’s better to change to a new organisation than it is to try to change the extant one.

Nando’s does rather a lot of not fried chicken and it seems to do rather well at it too.

The larger importance of this being things like fossil fuel companies. Say that we really do wish to stop using those fuels. That we need to build an infrastructure that allows us to do so. Attempting to coopt that current infrastructure, those current companies, isn’t going to work well. Simply because they are optimised to produce and deliver fossil fuels. Changing that organisation is very much more difficult than starting afresh. If we’ve a new task then a new organisation is the preferred route.

Which is why BP was markedly unsuccessful at doing solar cells last time around of course.