Science | August 25, 2020 12:40 pm

KFC Pauses “Finger Lickin’ Good” Slogan Due to Coronavirus Concerns

It's a strange time to be in the fast-food business

KFC logo: Colonel Sanders on a red and white fried chicken bucket
Kentucky Fried Chickens "finger lickin' good" slogan hits differently now.
Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Life during a pandemic involves a lot of things being effectively paused, whether it’s dining indoors, attending sporting events in person or international travel. Perhaps the most unlikely example of a tradition paused by COVID-19 comes from the world of fast food.

At CNN, Jordan Valinsky reports that fast-food chain KFC has paused the use of its famous “finger lickin’ good” slogan. Catherine Tan-Gillespie, the company’s chief marketing officer, explained the changes via a statement.

“We find ourselves in a unique situation — having an iconic slogan that doesn’t quite fit in the current environment,” Tan-Gillespie said.

While licking grease off your fingers does seem like an obvious health hazard today, CNN notes that public-health concerns may not be the primary motive for KFC’s change. As Valinsky writes:

To be clear, Monday’s announcement is a marketing campaign. A clever one, perhaps, with good intentions baked into it … but a marketing campaign nonetheless. KFC blurred out the slogan featured on old billboards and signs in a cheeky ad released on its YouTube page.

The CNN report points out that KFC’s business has been good after a slow start to the year. The appeal of comfort food during a stressful time is easy to understand, after all.

Subscribe here for our free daily newsletter.