How Chicken Nuggets Took Over The World

April 16, 2013 in Daily Bulletin

Half a century ago chicken came on the bone and resembled a bird. Today the era of on the bone chicken appears to be coming to an end, giving way to boneless chicken:

  • Up until the 1970s fast food chains didn’t have product offerings beyond burgers and fries. However federal guidelines around the 70s began to discourage Americans from eating red meat.
  • Moreover the price of beef began to rise, causing fast food chains to desperately search around for alternatives.
  • Chicken was an attractive option since it was cheap and thought to be healthier than beef.
  • McDonald’s led the charge trying out chicken pot-pies and bone-in fried chicken. Only deep fried boneless chicken chunks resonated with customers.
  • Now boneless chicken has become so common that one KFC executive jokes that young people today no longer know that chicken has bones in it.
  • Most chains from Chik-Fil-A to Burger King have abandoned on the bone chicken. KFC was the last holdout and it too recently announced plans to introduce boneless chicken menu offerings.

Read more about the history of chicken nuggets, what Colonel Sanders would have thought, and the problem with chicken margins over here.

Source: Time