Many large food and beverage distribution brands have reached the Olympus of the largest thanks to the secret formulas that are behind their success and that have been perpetuated over decades, in order to keep these firms in stardom. However, it seems that for one of these great houses, the mystery of its popularity has come to an end, at least in part.
We are talking about Colonel Sanders’ company, for friends, Kentucky Fried Chicken. The franchise that has monopolized fried chicken internationally kept it under lock and key (or not so much, depending on how you look at it), which is what allowed it to give that characteristic flavor to its wings and drumsticks.
Brief history of Kentucky Fried Chicken
Let’s travel back to the 30s of the last century. At that time, Harland Sanders, the future “Kentucky Colonel”, buys an old motel and a cafeteria in Corbin (Whiteley County, Kentucky), after having spent his life stumbling through different jobs. These businesses become famous thanks to the fact that Sanders uses them to unleash his facet as a fried chicken cook (made from his own recipe), a dish that he serves to his guests.
Five years later, Harland is already known by the nickname that he would carry for the rest of his life and by which he is still called today. It will not be until almost the 40’s that El Coronel comes up with the perfect definitive formula of which are the spices that his fried chicken will carry; an enigma that only a lucky few know today.
The 1950s. Harland Sanders, always dressed in his famous white suit with a black bow tie, gradually prospers as a businessman. However, in 1955, the construction of Interstate 75 forced him to close his restaurant to make way for this modern road. Although it seems like the end, El Coronel reinvests in the project and intends to continue promoting his fried chicken. More than ten years after it nearly went under, new Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants are opening across the United States , now franchised.
At 74, old Harland feels it’s time to turn his business over, so he sells his business to Heublein Liquor Distributor for $2 million. Despite being retired,his face is still the signature logo.
Finally, in 1980, Harland Sanders died at the age of 90, a victim of leukemia. Since then, KFC has continued its expansion until today it is one of the fast food restaurants that receives the most customers in the world.
The secret of KFC, “hidden” in your Twitter
Spending too much time browsing social networks has its positive side. This is what Mike Edgette, the director of a public relations firm from Sioux, South Dakota, must have thought. Mike, a regular on social media, was a follower of the brand on Twitter. For some reason, he was surprised that KFC, a globally acclaimed franchise, followed only 11 people through its Twitter account .
These 11 people were 5 women named Spice Girls and 6 men, all named Herb. Coincidence
Rather not, since in this cryptic message is where the essence of the success of Kentucky Fried Chicken lies.
And it is that it is not more than a nod to the most clever: 5 Spice girls and 6 Herbs, or what is the same, 5 Spices and 6 Herbs, is nothing more than a reference to the spices that make up the recipe of the the company’s fried chicken (the translation of this play on words in English would be something like “5 spices and 6 herbs”).
The discovery goes viral
The ruse, which had been published by the creative department of Kentucky Fried just a month ago, soon spread like wildfire through continuous retweets, until reaching 322,000 and 715,000 likes.
Mike’s ingenuity award was immediate, more than anything because KFC sent him a framed painting in which Colonel Sanders appears on his back, creator and image of the corporation; both surrounded by a beautiful landscape typical of Kentucky County.
However, despite the discovery, the franchise still does not reveal what these 5 Spices and 6 Herbs are. Will someone awake like Mike Edgette, or maybe Mike himself, be able to find the key?
At least now we know that it is about 11 types of dressing , so whoever wants to receive a gift courtesy of KFC can already start discarding.