the chain gang

KFC Has Engineered ‘Low Smell’ Chicken in Japan

Finger-lickin’, but not nose-stinkin’. Photo: Michael Saechang/CC/flickr

To help “polite” commuters who are loath to inflict delicious odors on fellow subway passengers, KFC has pioneered to-go fried-chicken boxes that pack a “repressed scent.” Called Fried Chicken Home Type, this special pack is only available through December 31 at a pop-up inside Tokyo’s subway system. KFC claims it’s a box of two pieces packaged to mask the telltale aroma. (It should be noted that people in Japan are obsessed with fried chicken at Christmastime.)

The trick seems to be using less-permeable plastic for the packaging, not cardboard, and then selling the chicken at room temperature — you just reheat the pieces once you and your stealth fried dinner get home.

Perhaps dubious, Japan’s Sora News 24 fact-checked KFC’s bold claims, and reports that, “true to its word, we had to press our noses right up against the plastic container to detect even the faintest whiff of fried chicken.” After a quick zap in the microwave, their Home Type box emerged “with the familiar smell of ordinary KFC fried chicken.” They were big fans of the reheated taste, too, writing that it “gives up nothing in the eating experience,” except for, well, the whole process being an act of finger lickin’ blasphemy. Also, no way the outside stays crispy after nuking, as that would be the fast-food invention of the century.

But honestly, maybe someone should check on KFC? The chain could be having an existential crisis: Its press team sends word today, separately, that yet another new Colonel has been installed, this time an intentional “nobody” named Christopher Boyer. Go ahead and try Googling him (he apparently sold mattresses before his big break), but here’s the official head shot corporate has passed along:

Looks like the kind of guy who wants to smell his fried chicken. Photo: KFC
KFC Has Engineered ‘Low Smell’ Chicken in Japan