Singapore Markets open in 3 hrs 40 mins

KFC brings back Colonel Sanders as it returns to ‘full strength’ after chicken shortage

Caitlin Morrison
A Colonel Sanders statue is on permanent display in New York's Union Square: Getty Images For Turner

KFC is relaunching its Colonel Sanders mascot in a bid to refresh its brand over the bank holiday weekend, following a disastrous delivery failure earlier this year.

In February, the fried chicken chain was forced to close more than two thirds of its 900 UK stores after it ran out of chicken, with some restaurants shut for weeks.

The fast food group said the shortage was due to “teething problems” with a new delivery partner – DHL in partnership with QSL – and eventually went back to previous supplier Bidvest Logistics.

In its announcement of the new television advert, the company made a tongue in cheek reference to its problems earlier this year: “February was supposed to be the month of love. But not this year… instead, a dark, swirling wind of sadness and heartbreak descended.

“A sorrowful shadow was cast across our nation. With such desolation and desperation, many wondered whether it was the beginning of the end. Some even considered going to Burger King.”

However, KFC added that the colonel’s return “in a glorious blaze of herbs and spices” is a symbol of “a return to full strength after the nation’s favourite chicken restaurant ran out of chicken”.

Meghan Farren, chief marketing officer for KFC UK and Ireland, said: “The colonel’s back, and it’s about time too. We went through a tricky spell earlier this year – but his values, his philosophy and ultimately his recipe got us all through it. We’re glad to be back.”

When the supply shortage hit the company in February, it took out a full page ad on the back of the Metro newspaper to apologise to customers.

Meanwhile, police were forced to tell people to stop calling them about the problems. The force in Tower Hamlets, London, tweeted: “Please do not contact us about the #KFCCrisis – it is not a police matter if your favourite eatery is not serving the menu that you desire.”