Fried Chicken and Sport? It's just not cricket.
KFC continues to exploit Australia's love of cricket over the summer holiday period with a heavily marketed junk food campaign, including sponsorship of Cricket Australia's Big Bash League.
Turning our passion for sport into a profit, KFC's summer campaign started in November, with the promotion of the HCG Buckethead Army. TV advertising during peak viewing times, PR stunts designed to grab attention and a website encouraging people to share a picture wearing a 'HCG Bucket' Hat through social media, promotes the association of KFC in cricket and is normalising our attitude to junk food.
It's a junk food marketing battle hard to beat.
"In WA alone, KFC spends $3.35 million on TV, radio, cinema and outdoor in advertising over 12 months. This doesn't include digital, social media and the sport sponsorship," says LiveLighter's Emma Groves.
Forty-five percent of West Australians adults eating junk food more than once a week ensures a profitable business.
Research conducted by WA’s LiveLighter campaign has found that KFC’s Ultimate Box contains 51% of a person’s energy needs for the day (based on the recommended average energy requirement of 8,700 kilojoules per day).
The KFC Ultimate Box consists of an original fillet burger PLUS one piece of original recipe chicken, a regular serving of chips, a regular serving of potato and gravy and a can of soft drink.
“KFC’s HCG campaign continues to strongly associate with Australia’s most popular summer sport,” said Heart Foundation WA Chief Executive Maurice Swanson.
"Eating fried chicken, and all the junk food extras, while watching the cricket on TV is not a habit we want to encourage".
According to LiveLighter research, it would take an average male more than two hours at the crease to burn off just one KFC Ultimate Box. This one meal also contributes almost 50% of the maximum daily fat intake, 98% of a person’s recommended maximum salt intake for the day and almost 12 teaspoons of sugar, almost double the World Health Organisation’s recommended daily guidelines.
“It’s ironic that KFC is the major sponsor of the Big Bash League. Even if you batted an entire Big Bash innings, you would still not have burnt off the kilojoules in a KFC Ultimate Meal Box,” Mr Swanson said.
It's just not cricket
- Overweight and obesity rates are growing at alarming levels in Australia
- Tactics being used by junk food companies, including sponsorship of elite sporting events and aggressive marketing to children adds to our growing obesity epidemic.
- Junk food companies wouldn’t sponsor major sporting events if it did not increase sales and wasn’t profitable for them.
- Studies have shown that endorsement of a product by an athlete increases sales, particularly to children.
- Junk food is common in the diets of West Australians. Public health campaigns raise awareness to make the healthy choice become the easy choice for everyone in WA. It’s disappointing to see junk food chains undermine these public health messages and campaigns like LiveLighter.
- The majority of junk food is high in sugar, salt and fat. It’s energy dense and provides little nutritional value.
"Junk food shouldn't sponsor sport. It's a conflicting message to the public, celebrating healthy athletes on one hand, then being bombarded by junk food marketing on the other,” says Ms Groves.
To coincide with the Boxing Day Big Bash League game in Perth, LiveLighter is launching a digital campaign to reinforce the message that junk food is not a good option to be eating while watching the cricket. LiveLighter has plenty of great 'watching sport' inspired recipes to style on their website.