A BPC spokeswoman told FoodManufacture.co.uk that the KFC chicken shortage – which left hundreds of stores without chicken for the past week – was a logistical issue, due to failure with distributor DHL.
“A majority of producers that supplied KFC are no longer sending their chicken to the DHL depot, after KFC notified them about the logistical problem,” said the spokeswoman.
“On that basis they have diverted the chicken to other customers on a need basis, or have frozen it, to make sure it isn’t wasted.”
‘Diverted the chicken’
The BPC’s comments came after reports a 20,000-piece order of chicken had been returned to processor Moy Park’s Sleaford, Lincolnshire plant. The order was originally intended for KFC and was sent to DHL’s depot in Rugby.
It is understood that the chicken was redistributed to other customers or sold in the company’s factory shop.
A KFC spokesman said the restaurant had adjusted its orders to ensure that stock levels of fresh chicken at the depot, before being delivered to restaurants, were manageable.
“It is not uncommon for excess stock to be returned to the supplier and for suppliers to sell stock directly to customers and staff,” they added.
“The chicken may have been labelled as KFC, and while we’re sure it was tasty, it would not have been blended with our signature herbs and spices that our fans across the UK and Ireland love.”
Last week, workers’ union GMB slammed KFC over its decision to switch distributor, which led to the temporary closure of shops around the country.
The restaurant chain had recently switched distributor from Bidvest to DHL, resulting in 255 redundancies and the closure of the Hoddesdon Bidvest depot.
Meanwhile, KFC’s inability to open stores sparked a storm of comments on Twitter.