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KFC Confirms It’s Return To Israel

Indeed, Colonel Sanders has confirmed that it is bringing back it’s chicken to the Holy Land.

The wildly popular deep-fried chicken fast-food chain, famous for its ‘finger-lickin’ flavor and deep buckets of poultry goodness, is returning to Israel after a five-year absence. KFC first attempted to make its mark on Israelis in 1993 but subsequently closed all locations in 2013. In an announcement met with much excitement, the chain is now planning a comeback consisting of 100 establishments throughout Israel.

KFC’s crispy and herb-heavy chicken is made with a unique milk-based recipe. While this unique process may contribute to its renown in other parts of the world, in Israel, it became the brand’s biggest challenge.

As kosher dietary laws prohibit the combination of milk and meat or poultry, KFC tried using a soy-based substitute that didn’t go over that well. There was the also the issue of the kosher slaughter process, in which kosher meat or chicken would require salting, which made the batter-applying part of the chicken preparation pretty tricky.

The company is working on finding a single franchisee operator in Israel who would then grant sub-franchises to individual owners. There are currently over 700 KFC outlets in the Middle East, including establishments in the Palestinian Authority, all halal certified. Hopefully, things will turn out more successfully for KFC in the Israeli and kosher market this time around.

UPDATE 12/01/2019:

KFC is coming to Israel, but the latest reincarnation of the brand is not slated to be kosher according to reports. The first branch will open in Nazareth and will be managed directly by the parent brand as opposed to a franchisee, as was previously the case for outlets in Israel. 

The kosher version modified the original recipe, including changing the milk powder in the crispy coating to soy. These changes made the chicken more costly and, according to some customers, less tasty than the original. 

The franchisee who ran the previous eight branches in Israel, Ido Shamai, stated that “The moment we switched to kosher, sales began to plunge and it was no longer economically viable. The product was less good, whereas things had gone fine with un-kosher chickens.”