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10 Things You Didn’t Know About KFC

A KFC Logo with Colonel Sanders

With its "finger lickin' good" slogan and iconic imagery, KFC has become one of the world's leading fast food brands.

The company has been going since 1952, and is in hundreds of countries around the world.

Like a lot of huge companies, KFC has had a lot going on in its 72 years of existence.

It was even a victim of a bizarre conspiracy theory which claimed it had to change its name due to the chicken it used for its meals being a mutant variety with numerous wings and two heads.

Here are 10 things you didn't know about KFC.

Colonel Sanders Was Real

It's tempting to think Colonel Sanders is a marketing creation like Ronald McDonald.

He's not.

He's a real person who really founded KFC.

He sold fried chicken from a roadside restaurant in Corbin, Kentucky, during the Great Depression.

Here he is.

Colonel Sanders
Colonel Sanders outside an early KFC

The first franchise wasn't in Kentucky

The first ever KFC was, in fact, in Utah.

It opened in Salt Lake City in 1952 and was run by Pete Harman, a friend of Colonel Sanders.

The "Orignal Recipe" is top secret

The famous KFC recipe of 11 herbs and spices is incredibly closely guarded.

Rumors suggest it is kept in a vault in Louisville, Kentucky and only a handful of people know the specifics.

KFC is Japanese Christmas dinner

Believe it or not, it has become a tradition in Japan to have a KFC feast on Christmas Day.

The trend started in the 1970s due to a highly successful marketing campaign.

Now, millions of people tuck into fried chicken on Christmas Day and often order their meals months in advance.

Colonel Sanders was 65 when he started

Colonel Sanders was old enough to retire when he started the company.

He had to franchise his original restaurant to find a new income source after it was bypassed by an interstate highway.

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KFC has huge global reach

KFC is the second-largest restaurant chain after McDonald's.

There are more than 24,000 restaurants in more than 145 countries and territories.

It supports a lot of charities

The KFC Foundation, established by franchisees, supports various charitable initiatives, including scholarships and community grant programs, reflecting the company's commitment to giving back.

It embraces technology

The company is at the forefront of using technology in its services.

It has tested autonomous vehicles and even uses facial recognition software in China to try to predicts customer's orders.

There's an autobiography of Colonel Sanders

KFC released a previously unpublished autobiography of Colonel Sanders in 2014, which he had written in the 1960s.

It offers a glimpse into his life and some cooking tips.

KFC supports environmental initiatives

The company has launched various sustainability initiatives, including transitioning to more sustainable packaging options and committing to sourcing chickens raised without antibiotics important to human medicine in some markets.

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