KFC reopens in Israel, insists it won't be kosher

KFC's new Nazareth branch / Photo: PR

As it opened its first branch in Nazareth, Kentucky Fried Chicken blames previous failures in Israel on adapting the recipe to the laws of kashrut.

Eight years after closing down its Israel operations, KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) has reopened its first branch in Israel in Nazareth. The 240 square meter fast food eatery is in Nazareth's main street near the Basilica of the Annunciation.

KFC refused to say how much it has invested in the new branch but did say that it, 'plans to invest large amounts over the next three years," and to, 'leverage its advantages in size and deployment to build a major presence in Israel within a short time."

The company added that, "In the coming three years it plans dozens of branches throughout Israel, in Tel Aviv, Beersheva and the other parts of the country. They will be located in both malls and commercial centers as well as in main streets."

For the time being the basic recipe KFC is selling in Israel is not kosher and the company says, "one of the lessons learned from the KFC experience in Israel is not to be flexible on the flavoring. We will not compromise this time. We have come in with KFC's original recipe and we will make certain that the taste of product, which is our commercial trademark, will be identical to the rest of the world."

The company is referring to its past failure in Israel, which was due, among other things, to adapting the flavoring as required so that the product could be marketed as kosher, needing a change in the basic recipe.

KFC said, "We have very large potential to grow amongst the Israeli population that does not keep kosher. Research that we have conducted indicates that a non-kosher menu still appeals to more than 60% of the population in Israel."

The chains operations in Israel are being led by KFC worldwide with former Coca Cola Israel head Omer Zaidner managing operations in Israel.

Asked if KFC Israel plans to offer vegan options such as the Beyond Fried Chicken served abroad, the company said, "We can offer vegetarian options. However that is not our core offering. In the first stage we will focus on our renowned chicken meals. That said we will offer vegetarian products and open up our menu through questionnaires with our customers who will help us decide the best menu for the Israeli consumer."

This is the fourth time that KFC has reopened in Israel after the three previous franchises all failed.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on February 3, 2020

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2020

KFC's new Nazareth branch / Photo: PR
KFC's new Nazareth branch / Photo: PR
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