KFC — the famed fried chicken chain and the subject of a new BBC docu-series — is facing some serious pressure to change what kind of chicken it sources. The move comes shortly after McDonald's announced that it will now source chickens that were raised without using human antibiotics. According to Reuters, environmental and consumer groups are calling for KFC to do the same.
Not making the switch would most likely hurt KFC.
Over the next two years, McDonald's will phase out the human antibotic-injected chickens. The company says that they are doing this for health reasons. Many are concerned that the use of human drugs in meat production "has exacerbated the rise of deadly 'superbugs' that resist treatment." Currently KFC has no "publicly stated policy on antibiotic use in the production of the meat it buys." However, over the years, activists have had many issues with the way KFC treats chickens.
KFC may want to hop on the anti-antibiotic bandwagon soon. Industry experts like the Natural Resources Defense Coucil's food and agriculture program director Jonathan Kaplan believe that McDonald's eliminating human antibiotics could signal a "tipping point" in the fast food and poultry industry. Plus, fellow chicken chain Chick-fil-A is also phasing human antibiotics out of its supply chain by 2019.
McDonald's incredible influence and market share might mean that antibiotic-free chicken could become industry standard. Not making the switch would most likely hurt KFC, especially when chains like Shake Shack and Chipotle are riding on a wave of consumer demand for a quality, healthful options, and transparency in production.