Koreans Are Boycotting Their Beloved Fried Chicken Franchises — Here’s Why

“Customers have a right to choose…”

There are only a few things that almost all Koreans universally love…

One would be Sangyupsal (pork belly) and soju…

Everything from the restaurant’s ambiance, to the sizzling of the meat, the pouring of the soju to the clinking of shot glasses, Sangyupsal, and soju is a whole vibe…

Another would be a Korean mother’s Doenjang-jjigae

Sort of like the lasagna of Korean cuisine, when it comes to comfort food for Koreans, it doesn’t get much better than Doenjang-jjigae, and every Korean you’ll ever meet will swear their mothers’ is the best.

Of course, there is Yoo Jae Suk and Kim Yuna… it would be sacrilegious not to include them on the list, considering they are often literally referred to as Lord Yoo and Lord Yuna.

And speaking of religion, in a country where the two biggest religions are Christianity and Buddhism, there is another god that all Koreans can agree on, The Chicken Lord.

A news briefing about the three lords of Korea, Yoo Jae Suk, Chicken, and Kim Yuna | JTBC

This isn’t to be facitious. No, rather, fried chicken is often literally referred to as Lord Chicken.

Chicken Lord | Nate Pann

Due to its devout followers, Korean chicken has become world famous. You may have even seen some of its most famous franchises in your country.

Kyochon Chicken in Koreatown, Los Angeles | Gastronomy Blog

Korean chicken is known to be tangier, spicier, sweeter, and crispier than other fried chicken. It’s also known to be much smaller, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

Chicken | BHC Chicken
Chicken | Kyochon

With an almost religious-like following, it is therefore shocking to report that Koreans are all-out boycotting their favorite fried chicken franchises.

According to reports, on July 19, a franchise chicken boycott is sweeping the nation. It is reported that the boycott is due to a price increase in chicken. To have a whole chicken delivered now would cost many over ₩30,000 KRW (about $22.70 USD).

Recently, chicken franchises have all raised prices on their chicken, citing inflation. Many Korean consumers, however, feel the price increase is the result of the franchises being opportunistic rather than the result of inflation.

The chicken industry in Korea is cut-throat and is known for shady practices such as collusion.

This is just another on a list of backlash chicken retail franchises have faced recently, the biggest scandal involving the size of their chicken. Korean chicken franchises use noticeably smaller chicken than the ones used in the United States.

Weight of chicken by chicken franchise, not one whole chicken weights 1KG | SBS

Korean chicken franchises have marketed the smaller chicken as tastier and healthier, without the chemicals that enlargen chicken in the States. With that said, it was later proven by science that the smaller chickens were not tastier but, in fact, more profitable for the franchises.

A debate over the size of the chicken relative to its taste made national headlines | Joong-Ang Ilbo

A chicken boycott poster laments the franchises’ use of smaller chickens.

12 years since we lost our larger chickens, we have now embarked on an era of the ₩30,000 KRW (about $22.70 USD) chicken. Customers have a right to choose.

— DC Inside Chicken Gallery

Whether the chicken boycott will bring about a price reduction remains to be seen, but Koreans are no rookies when it comes to boycotts. The 2019 boycott of Japanese goods brought about the closure of several Uniqlo stores, and sales of Japanese beer are a mere fraction of what they were.

Poster to boycott franchise chicken | DC Inside Chicken Gallery

What is your stance on the chicken boycott? Would you be able to boycott your favorite fried chicken shop?

Source: Insight