Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Pennies Per Chicken Breast

I watched the Super Bowl in Wilmington, NC in a room full of screaming Polamalu jerseys.

People were eating KFC. And making garbage. Buckets. Plastic plates. Napkins. Sporks.

And it made me think about the moment in Bill McDonough's TED Talk when he talks about away. What does it mean to throw something away? Away from what? Away from whom? Away from where?

And that made me think about KFC's decision to sell garbage along with their food.

So I wondered...

What if KFC decided to not to sell garbage anymore? What if they started serving compostable potato sporks?

What if their costs went up by pennies per chicken breast and nickels per sandwich? What if their prices went up accordingly?

And what if they marketed it, clearly, honestly, and on Super Bowl Sunday?

Imagine a medley of interviews with KFC execs and employees: chicken fryers, middle managers, and the PepsiCo CEO. And imagine a multi-voiced explanation:

We don't have to make trash, so we've stopped. No more plastic. No more pollution. All our packaging is now biodegradable and nutritious. You can bury it in your gardens. It'll help your tomatoes grow. But sustainable packaging is more expensive. So we've cut our margins a little bit and raised our prices a little bit. And we realize there's risk in that. Risk that we'll lose you, our customers. But. We need to do the right thing. And we think that you'll support us in that. We hope. We trust. And so we've done it. Visit www.kfc.com/are-we-crazy, and tell us what you think and what you suggest we do next.

I think it'd work. And imagine the precedent it would set if it did.

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