Kentucky Fried Chicken Changes to KFC

The Myth KFC Kentucky Fried Chicken Changes to KFC


Version One: The story about why Kentucky Fried Chicken, founded by Harland Sanders, changes it name to KFC is to remove the word “fried” in it’s name. The word “fried” has negative connatations like being unhealthy, having high cholesterol, causing obesity and many more. Therefore, as an effort to rebrand themselves as a healthier family restaurant that caters for people of all ages, including health conscious people, Kentucky Fried Chicken renamed itself as KFC.

Version Two: The US food and drug administration reviewed the operations of Kentucky Fried Chicken and found out the they are rearing genetically modified chickens, with extra huge breasts and extra legs to harvest the meat from(the number varies from 4 to 6). The US food and drug administration declares that these creatures cannot be marketed as “chickens” and Kentucky Fried Chicken, unwilling to lose such a lucrative operation to adhere to the rules, decided to change its name to KFC instead to eliminate the word “chicken”.

The truth

The truth is that Kentucky Fried Chicken decides to change its name is to avoid paying license fees to the state of Kentucky. In 1990, the state of Kentucky decides to trademark their name, in order to reduce their accumulating debts. As a result, Kentucky Fried Chicken have to pay a sum of money to the state for using “Kentucky”.

Obviously, they are unwilling to since they had been using it for nearly four decades(they started in the 1950s) and refused to pay such royalties as a matter of principle. After much negotiations, they were unable to budge the government stance and thus decided to change their name instead of paying. This coincides with the rebranding campaign as stated earlier and everything turned out well.

The evidence that suggests that this version is true is that many events and businesses had also changed their name to eliminate the word “Kentucky”. The examples range from the most famous horse race in North America, formerly known as the “Kentucky Derby” changes to “The run for the roses”, the provider of seeds and nursery outfits “Kentucky Bluegrass” changes to “Shenandoah Bluegrass” and the song “Kentucky Woman” by Neil Diamond was dropped from radio stations at his own request because he would lose more money for paying the state of Kentucky royally than what he receive from the station.

Last Words

In Nov 2006, Kentucky fried chicken finally reached an undisclosed agreement with the state of Kentucky with regards to this issue and they are free to use their name back again.

In Wikipedia on the KFC entry, there is a marked difference in the reason why KFC changes it’s name. The information at Wiki take the stance that version one of the story is correct. If that is the case, then what explains the name change of other entities that has nothing to do with chickens? As the truth goes, it is up to open debate but of course I am going to defend my views. If you have other opinions, feel free to leave a comment on the post itself or on our wall. Thanks a lot for reading this post!

Verdict: BUSTED!!!!!!