Despite reports, KFC HASN’T released a vegan bucket of ‘chicken’

An article is making its way across social media today with the exciting news that KFC has launched a vegan bucket of chicken.

The so-called “VFC Bucket” is supposedly available in Los Angeles, Nashville and North Carolina.

But, in fact, it doesn’t exist at all.

The article was written as an April Fools’ Day joke by the team from VegNews.

Nothing on the site states the day it was written or the fact it is actually not real, but the National Chicken Council representative is called “Aaron Feathers” and it states that KFC will “promote its new vegan bucket with Bernie Sanders (outfitted as Colonel Sanders) as its celebrity spokesperson.”

Those two indicators might reveal the tongue-in-cheek nature of the story to some readers. But they don't raise eyebrows for everyone. Plus, a study by the Media Insight Project, an initiative of the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the American Press Institute indicates that fewer than half of us click an article at all.

In other words, only four out of ten people who saw this piece are reading it at all right now.

The KFC piece has been shared numerous times on social media, and it gets resurrected every few months.

Screen captures from October 2018 and February 2019 indicate that people take this article very seriously and share it with reckless abandon.

To add to the confusion that a vegan bucket exists, KFC did actually say they are looking to launch a meat-free option in the future.

In June 2018, A KFC spokesperson told The New York Times :

“Development of the recipe is still in its very early stages, and so the options we’re exploring in our kitchen are still top secret.
“Once we’ve perfected the recipe, we aim to test with customers this year, and if all goes well, we hope to launch a new vegetarian option in 2019.”

The quote doesn't specify anything about vegan-friendly options and is very open in terms of dates, with nothing confirmed in the quote.

But some people were still unable to acknowledge the difference:

Even when confronted with information that contradicts what they posted, some social media users doubled down, allowing cognitive biases to reassert themselves in dangerous ways.

This is further compounded by the fact that a spokesperson told The Telegraph newspaper earlier this year that they “will not let vegans down” with their plans to launch plant-based options.

While they haven’t as yet launched the VFC Bucket, an option for vegetarians could be on the menu soon enough, and at this time there is not confirmation it will be suitable for vegans.

Hopefully, we read ingredients labels more judiciously than headlines!

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