KFC isn’t advertising chicken tenders on TV because of supply chain shortages

KFC Chicken Tenders
KFC’s chicken tenders. Hollis Johnson
  • KFC is limiting ads for its chicken tenders amid supply chain shortages, it told Bloomberg.
  • These boneless chicken bites are more labor-intensive to make than some of its bone-in products.
  • A lack of food-production staff means they are more susceptible to delays and shortages.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The supply chain crisis is forcing KFC to stop advertising its boneless chicken tenders on TV.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Kevin Hochman, president of KFC, said the company wasn’t able to “aggressively promote” its chicken tenders because of supply issues.

“In terms of advertising and promotion we’re going to focus on things we have abundant quantities of,” he said, adding that bone-in chicken is more readily available, per Bloomberg.

The off-the-bone chicken used in chicken tenders has been worse hit by delays and shortages because it requires more processing, and is therefore more labor-intensive, he said.

Insider reached out to KFC for further comment, but did not immediately hear back.

KFC is among a large pool of restaurants and retailers dealing with product shortages and delays.

Last month, it informed UK customers that some items would be out of stock and that its packaging could look different when they visit.

Other restaurant owners have complained of massive price hikes on poultry. Greg Duell, co-owner of a Duff’s Famous Wings restaurant in Buffalo, New York, told Fox Business that the price of his suppliers’ chicken wings had rocketed 99%.

Duell blamed this price increase on the labor shortage.

“The chicken wing farms in America, they’re having trouble retaining and recruiting employees,” he said. “When that happens, they can’t process the birds fast enough, they have to feed them more, the feed costs have gone up, the birds are getting bigger and they can’t process and get them out.”

The owner of an eight-restaurant chain in Texas told Insider’s Anna Cooban that he was paying double for a 50lb (23kg) order of chicken this summer, compared to what he would have paid pre-pandemic.

The owner, Garrett Reed, said his suppliers had also blamed giant price hikes on the labor shortage. “The labor shortage is real, and it is not just directly day-to-day in the store, but it’s down the supply chain that it’s affected us tremendously,” he said.

“We’re talking to our chicken vendors and saying why is this the case. They say well our slaughterhouses are only 50% staffed,” he added.