Yes, the chicken at KFC is obviously good, but it’s just as well known for its many delectable (and some potato-free) sides. The one problem with the side, KFC seems to have decided, is that they don’t fit into the company’s “finger licking” way of existence—though if your favorite way to eat coleslaw is digging your digits right in there, who am I to judge? Well KFC is making things a little bit easier with its latest invention, now available with the chicken chain’s Sides Lovers meals: Finger Sporks.
The tools are exactly what they sound like: tiny sporks that fit right onto your fingers for if not a more efficient eating experience at the very least a more entertaining one. If you want to get your hands (or, ya know, fingers) on the invention, you have until July 12 to scoop some from your local KFC.
A brief history of sporks
When it comes to digging into foods like corn, coleslaw, and mashed potatoes, a spork is in fact a superior utensil, giving you the ability to not only shovel each bite in but stab at the kernels and other bits left behind. Maybe that’s what the inventor of the first hybrid eating utensil had in mind. According to Vox, eccentric inventor Samuel W. Francis received the patent for his creation in 1874, a creation that included not only a fork and spoon but a knife.
It wasn’t until 1970 that the name “spork” was trademarked, according to The New York Times, and plastic versions of the utensil started being served at take out spots everywhere, cutting down costs for restaurants and reducing waste in the process. Unfortunately in the case of KFC’s finger sporks, it seems even more waste is being created all in the name of a gimmick instead of efficiency.
The history of KFC’s “finger lickin’ good” slogan
It was actually a franchisee in Phoenix, Arizona who coined the iconic phrase, Creative Review reports. In the 1950s, Dave Harman would voice all the commercials for his restaurant, but when he ended up unable to speak because of a stroke, he would have the manager of the restaurant provide the voice over while Harman sat in the background of the commercials eating chicken. The story goes that a woman once called the local TV station to complain about Harman licking his fingers while eating—the store manager instinctively responded “Well, it’s finger licking good!” and so the slogan was born.
The company actually abandoned its signature “finger lickin’ good” slogan amid the pandemic. In August 2020, KFC suspended the phrase’s use in its marketing saying in a press release, “We find ourselves in a unique situation—having an iconic slogan that doesn’t quite fit in the current environment. While we are pausing the use of It’s Finger Lickin’ Good, rest assured the food craved by so many people around the world isn’t changing one bit.”
In May 2021, KFC seemingly decided that the current environment changed enough for people to get to lickin’ again and it reinstated the slogan. And now with these forks the company is floundering a little in the middle—do you want us to lick our fingers or not, KFC?! Will “Spork Lickin’ Good” be the company’s new slogan? Will we all eventually evolve to have sporks for fingers anyway, rendering KFC’s new product useless? We’ll have to wait and see, but so long as we can dig into KFC’s thick and creamy mashed potatoes no matter what, we’ll be okay.