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KFC Sugar Tax Issue

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  • bris
    bris Posts: 10,548 Forumite
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    I'm allergic to aspartame so have boycotted KFC for a while.  Within minutes of ingesting it I get crippling stomach cramps and then later the migraine hits.  It does make me really ill and I have to be extremely careful with labels.
    Local experiences are as follows (cant speak for national obviously)

    KFC only diet drinks.  Wont even allow a bottled water with a meal.  No longer visit.
    Pizza Hut only diet drinks, can have tap water or, somewhat ironically, as many beers as I want!  No longer visit.
    Taco Bell only diet drinks with meal deals.  Offered to pay the extra and explained I have an allergy, lovely manager gave me a bottled coke with a wink.
    McDonalds full sugar drinks available
    Burger King full sugar drinks available

    I have issues in a lot of pubs as well as even though I always ask for a 'full fat coke or pepsi' they will almost always go to the pumps which are almost always diet syrups.  Mostly I have to purchase a small bottle of coke which usually work out more expensive than a pint of beer.

    I never take the drinks at any takeaway, but it's amazing how hard it is to actually do that. They say "but it's included in the price" and insist that you take it. 

    How do they do that, do they have security hold you down and force it into your pocket?

    I have never had any take away make me take something I don't want.

    Maybe in future maybe don't buy a meal that comes with a drink and order individual items instead.
  • Chyna-s
    Chyna-s Posts: 3,098 Forumite
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    I always ask for a gravy instead of the drink, no problem.
    Thank you all who post.
  • ItsComingRome
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    I cant stand the taste of Pepsi Max, it leaves a horrid taste in my mouth. Any diet drinks have a simular affect.
    Yet normal full sugar Pepsi or Coca Cola is fine. 
    What I find annoying as a customer we should have the choice and not have diet drinks forced on us which are high in aspartimin which some people get a nasty reaction to.
    Its been well documented too much aspartimin is worse for you than sugar. 
    "Forced"  :D
    Well yes forced because when your ordering you only have a limited time, people are queing behind you, so we need to be snappy about deciding, so the minute she said regular coke isn't on the menu my head goes into panic mode, so I think I would have asked for a pint of Lager without realising it, but obviously chose some diet crap in a rush. My argument is what the hell happened to the ability to choose? 
    I've spent most of my life being stood behind people who are decidedly indecisive so the idea you have limited time is not true.

    Perhaps if you care about other people you might feel that way. It appears, however, that most do not.
  • sweetgirl2015
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    I cant stand the taste of Pepsi Max, it leaves a horrid taste in my mouth. Any diet drinks have a simular affect.
    Yet normal full sugar Pepsi or Coca Cola is fine. 
    What I find annoying as a customer we should have the choice and not have diet drinks forced on us which are high in aspartimin which some people get a nasty reaction to.
    Its been well documented too much aspartimin is worse for you than sugar. 
    "Forced"  :D
    Well yes forced because when your ordering you only have a limited time, people are queing behind you, so we need to be snappy about deciding, so the minute she said regular coke isn't on the menu my head goes into panic mode, so I think I would have asked for a pint of Lager without realising it, but obviously chose some diet crap in a rush. My argument is what the hell happened to the ability to choose? 
    I've spent most of my life being stood behind people who are decidedly indecisive so the idea you have limited time is not true.

    Perhaps if you care about other people you might feel that way. It appears, however, that most do not.
    I see where you're coming from, but I think I was so dismayed that they we're telling me the full sugar Pepsi was discontinued as a choice, it felt like I was stood there frozen for ages while I was deciding an alternative and annoyed that my favourite drink was gone, in fact I almost said drop the order I will go across the road to Macdonalds instead. Problem is these days that doesnt phase them, so its pointless doing any kind of protest. 
    I'm pretty sure Pepsi as a company wouldn't be happy about reading this story. Who would think a drink would sway you're decision about whether or not you order their food or even go there anymore?
    I have since made an official complaint using resolver which involves trade and standards, sounds a bit heavy handed I agree, but that's how I felt. 
    You won't be surprised to learn their reply was disappointing, they simply said so sorry to hear about your disappointment at one of our KFC branches, but we discontinued regular Pepsi to make way for some more of the diet alternatives. 
    So I escalated the complaint and said that's all very well but diet drinks contain too much aspartimin and some people are allergic to aspartimin, besides that too much aspartimin is worse for you than sugar, curiously I haven't had a reply to that.
    When I suggested this is all to do with sugar tax, they insisted it wasn't. 


  • Tokmon
    Tokmon Posts: 628 Forumite
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    I cant stand the taste of Pepsi Max, it leaves a horrid taste in my mouth. Any diet drinks have a simular affect.
    Yet normal full sugar Pepsi or Coca Cola is fine. 
    What I find annoying as a customer we should have the choice and not have diet drinks forced on us which are high in aspartimin which some people get a nasty reaction to.
    Its been well documented too much aspartimin is worse for you than sugar. 
    "Forced"  :D
    Well yes forced because when your ordering you only have a limited time, people are queing behind you, so we need to be snappy about deciding, so the minute she said regular coke isn't on the menu my head goes into panic mode, so I think I would have asked for a pint of Lager without realising it, but obviously chose some diet crap in a rush. My argument is what the hell happened to the ability to choose? 
    I've spent most of my life being stood behind people who are decidedly indecisive so the idea you have limited time is not true.

    Perhaps if you care about other people you might feel that way. It appears, however, that most do not.
    I see where you're coming from, but I think I was so dismayed that they we're telling me the full sugar Pepsi was discontinued as a choice, it felt like I was stood there frozen for ages while I was deciding an alternative and annoyed that my favourite drink was gone, in fact I almost said drop the order I will go across the road to Macdonalds instead. Problem is these days that doesnt phase them, so its pointless doing any kind of protest. 
    I'm pretty sure Pepsi as a company wouldn't be happy about reading this story. Who would think a drink would sway you're decision about whether or not you order their food or even go there anymore?
    I have since made an official complaint using resolver which involves trade and standards, sounds a bit heavy handed I agree, but that's how I felt. 
    You won't be surprised to learn their reply was disappointing, they simply said so sorry to hear about your disappointment at one of our KFC branches, but we discontinued regular Pepsi to make way for some more of the diet alternatives. 
    So I escalated the complaint and said that's all very well but diet drinks contain too much aspartimin and some people are allergic to aspartimin, besides that too much aspartimin is worse for you than sugar, curiously I haven't had a reply to that.
    When I suggested this is all to do with sugar tax, they insisted it wasn't. 



    Well PepsiCo are the parent company of Yum! Brands which owns KFC. They also negotiate a contract each couple of years between them so Pepsi are the sole supplier of soft drinks to KFC. So PepsiCo will certainly know how much they are selling them of each type and will no they no longer purchase the regular Pepsi from them, if they cared about this then they would make terms in the contract they must buy a percentage of each type of drink so they couldn't stop selling one type. 

    This coupled with the fact that big companies like to push lower calorie products and show they are selling "healthy" products, i don't really they would have any issues with what has happened.

    Plus i think you are over-reacting by escalating the complaint so far because at the end of the day it's up to the company to decide what products they sell and no one can or should be able to force them to serve certain things. 

    Also why would the drink choice make you not want to go there? Surely you go to McDonald's or KFC for the food they sell. If your just going for the drink then it's cheaper to buy a bottle of pepsi and a basic sandwich from a supermarket instead!.
  • jon81uk
    jon81uk Posts: 3,785 Forumite
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    Tokmon said:
    I cant stand the taste of Pepsi Max, it leaves a horrid taste in my mouth. Any diet drinks have a simular affect.
    Yet normal full sugar Pepsi or Coca Cola is fine. 
    What I find annoying as a customer we should have the choice and not have diet drinks forced on us which are high in aspartimin which some people get a nasty reaction to.
    Its been well documented too much aspartimin is worse for you than sugar. 
    "Forced"  :D
    Well yes forced because when your ordering you only have a limited time, people are queing behind you, so we need to be snappy about deciding, so the minute she said regular coke isn't on the menu my head goes into panic mode, so I think I would have asked for a pint of Lager without realising it, but obviously chose some diet crap in a rush. My argument is what the hell happened to the ability to choose? 
    I've spent most of my life being stood behind people who are decidedly indecisive so the idea you have limited time is not true.

    Perhaps if you care about other people you might feel that way. It appears, however, that most do not.
    I see where you're coming from, but I think I was so dismayed that they we're telling me the full sugar Pepsi was discontinued as a choice, it felt like I was stood there frozen for ages while I was deciding an alternative and annoyed that my favourite drink was gone, in fact I almost said drop the order I will go across the road to Macdonalds instead. Problem is these days that doesnt phase them, so its pointless doing any kind of protest. 
    I'm pretty sure Pepsi as a company wouldn't be happy about reading this story. Who would think a drink would sway you're decision about whether or not you order their food or even go there anymore?
    I have since made an official complaint using resolver which involves trade and standards, sounds a bit heavy handed I agree, but that's how I felt. 
    You won't be surprised to learn their reply was disappointing, they simply said so sorry to hear about your disappointment at one of our KFC branches, but we discontinued regular Pepsi to make way for some more of the diet alternatives. 
    So I escalated the complaint and said that's all very well but diet drinks contain too much aspartimin and some people are allergic to aspartimin, besides that too much aspartimin is worse for you than sugar, curiously I haven't had a reply to that.
    When I suggested this is all to do with sugar tax, they insisted it wasn't. 



    Well PepsiCo are the parent company of Yum! Brands which owns KFC. They also negotiate a contract each couple of years between them so Pepsi are the sole supplier of soft drinks to KFC. So PepsiCo will certainly know how much they are selling them of each type and will no they no longer purchase the regular Pepsi from them, if they cared about this then they would make terms in the contract they must buy a percentage of each type of drink so they couldn't stop selling one type. 

    This coupled with the fact that big companies like to push lower calorie products and show they are selling "healthy" products, i don't really they would have any issues with what has happened.

    Plus i think you are over-reacting by escalating the complaint so far because at the end of the day it's up to the company to decide what products they sell and no one can or should be able to force them to serve certain things. 

    Also why would the drink choice make you not want to go there? Surely you go to McDonald's or KFC for the food they sell. If your just going for the drink then it's cheaper to buy a bottle of pepsi and a basic sandwich from a supermarket instead!.
    No, PepsiCo sold off Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and KFC in 1997 forming the company that is now called Yum Brands. Yum is publicly traded on the stock market and Pepsi are not a major shareholder.
    There likely is a long-term agreement to only sell their brand of drinks due to the previous ownership. Also I expect the UK agreement is very different to the USA as we offer different brands as its Pepsi-Britvic so only the UK has Tango and Robinsons.

    As you say though it is up to KFC/Yum to sell what they want to sell and what they think is right for the UK market. They dropped full sugar Pepsi but added Cherry Pepsi Max, Lipton peach iced tea and Robinsons apple & blackcurrant so they are now offering a much wider selection of drinks compared to before. But yes due to the sugar tax they all do contain at least some sweetener even if they do have sugar too (Lipton Ice Tea has sugar).

    Interestingly looking at the KFC nutrition list, the Republic of Ireland still offers regular Pepsi and regular Club Orange (their Tango) as well as zero sugar Club Orange, Uk only has zero sugar Tango.
  • emmajones1976
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    I cant believe you have taken it as far as you have. If they dont want to sell a product there is absolutely nothing you can do about it, move on with your life.
  • pulliptears
    pulliptears Posts: 14,575 Forumite
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    I cant believe you have taken it as far as you have. If they don't want to sell a product there is absolutely nothing you can do about it, move on with your life.
    Why shouldn't people complain?  Why is it acceptable that I can get absolutely ratarsed in Pizza Hut but cant have a full fat coke?  It's ludicrous, and unless people say 'hold on, this isn't right' nothing changes.

    As an aside, I went to Nando's for the first time last week and was instructed to use the app to order.  Not a single sweetener free drink was available in that particular branch and I really didn't want water.  As I stood to leave the girl asked why and I explained, she said to leave it with her and returned with a can of regular coke.  So again, I could have drank myself into a stupor on any of the half dozen types of alcohol this particular branch sells, but I couldn't have a coke.   It's madness.
  • emmajones1976
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    Make a complaint yes. Carry on and on and on, no. They arent going to change their minds.
  • pulliptears
    pulliptears Posts: 14,575 Forumite
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    Make a complaint yes. Carry on and on and on, no. They aren't going to change their minds.
    Actually, my local Hungry Horse now has coke on draught again after many complaints about it only being available in small, expensive bottles, so yes, companies can and do change their minds if people complain and vote with their feet.
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