KFC switches to zero trans fat cooking oil in Hawai‘i

HONOLULU — KFC Hawai‘i announced recently that it is converting all of its 27 restaurants in Hawai‘i to a zero grams trans fat cooking oil. All 27 KFC Restaurants in Hawai‘i are expected to be converted by this month.

The new oil, a low linolenic soybean oil, will replace the partially hydrogenated soybean oil in current use in KFC restaurants. 

The conversion, which follows over two years of extensive testing of oil options to identify the same taste profile, has already begun in many KFC restaurants and is scheduled to be completed by the end of April nationwide. 

Once the transition is complete, KFC’s most popular signature products, including Original Recipe and Extra Crispy chicken, will contain zero grams of trans fat.

Other products that will have zero grams of trans fat are: Crispy Strips, Wings, Boneless Wings, Honey BBQ, Buffalo and Crispy Snacker Sandwiches, Popcorn Chicken, Twisters and Potato Wedges.

Many KFC menu items today already contain zero grams of trans fat including all Tender Roast products, and many side dishes such as Green Beans, Mashed Potatoes, Corn on the Cob and Coleslaw.

“We are thrilled to announce that KFC is switching to a zero trans fat cooking oil for all of our fried products,” said Steve Johnson, general manager of Kazi Foods. “This conversion follows more than two years of extensive testing to identify an oil that provides all the same delicious taste as our original recipes with zero grams of trans fat. The great news is that KFC’s Original Recipe and Extra Crispy chicken, along with the majority of our menu items at KFC, will have the same delicious taste with zero grams of trans fat. This is a win-win for our customers.”

The KFC Hawai‘i franchise is owned and operated by Kazi Foods. There are 27 KFC restaurants in Hawai‘i: 19 on O‘ahu, 4 on Maui, 3 on the Big Island and 1 on Kaua‘i. The newest restaurant is located in the Ewa Pointe Marketplace in Ewa Beach on O‘ahu.

Dietary guidelines for Americans recommend minimizing the consumption of trans fat as part of a healthy diet. As a result, the announcement by KFC was praised by leading health officials, including Surgeon General Richard Carmona.

“I congratulate KFC on their decision to switch to a zero trans fat cooking oil,” said Carmona. “Trans fat has been shown to increase the risk for heart disease. The good news is that people can reduce their risk for heart disease through food choices and physical activity. I’m pleased that KFC is making significant changes to help Americans make healthier choices, and I encourage other companies to follow their lead.”

Johnson said, “We think Colonel Sanders would be proud that we have found a solution that keeps all the delicious taste of KFC’s Original Recipe chicken, while making the majority of our menu zero trans fat.”


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