Has KFC Finally Reached Our Limit With the Edible Cup?

We'll eat a lot of things, but most people will stop at the cup.

KFC, home to sandwiches that use fried chicken for buns, is testing a coffee cup in the UK that is edible. So once you drink the coffee, you can enjoy a breakfast of wafer mug. This was probably not recommended by the recent dietary guideline tribunal.

The cup is made out of a thin biscuit wrapped in sugar paper and lined with white chocolate. From an environmental point of view, the cup is a positive. And the eco-friendliness of the product is meant to appeal to millennials.

But there’s so much questionable food that comes out of KFC, even one with good intentions can come off as a gimmick. Or worse, just outright hurt the brand.

Going out on a culinary limb has yielded positive results for KFC. And the “Scoff-ee” cups, as they’re called, has been a PR win for the company, getting them a fair amount of buzz because it’s so unusual.

But there’s a lot of talk about customers, including millennials, in search of a fresh, healthy and quick meal turning to places like Chipotle and away from restaurants like McDonald’s. The “fast casual” category is growing like wildfire and it’s taking customers from the competition.

An edible cup  certainly doesn’t scream “fresh” or “healthy.” In fact, this further entrenches the brand in the fast food category.

KFC spokeswoman Jocelyn Bynoe tells USA Today that this is more a “promotion novelty” than a “brand-building strategy,” but whether they see it that way or not, customers might. The first reaction upon hearing this announcement is something like, “Oh there goes KFC being KFC again.” Clearly, there’s room for KFC’s brand of gastronomy, but these days, diners seem to be drawing some lines in the sand. KFC’s menu is oftentimes on the wrong side of that line.

This is something to be particularly mindful of when you consider that the big push from KFC right now is towards kids (check out the website’s homepage), who are featured exclusively in their ads for KFC Popcorn Nuggets, the chain’s answer to Chicken McNuggets. Customers have always been very vocal about the need to offer healthy choices to children. KFC should be thinking broadly about their brand with each item they push out on the market nowadays.

Image via USA Today video