KFC has increased the prices of its meals by $1.50-$6, CEO of Prestige Holdings Simon Hardy confirmed on Tuesday.
Customers noticed the increase and several posts were made on Facebook about the change. Hardy said the company is facing higher prices for its raw materials and had tried not to pass the cost on to the public, but this was unsustainable.
"As we are facing unprecedented times with the increase (in the price) of chicken, oil, imported goods, freight cost and now flour, we had to take a balanced approach," he told Newsday.
In the case of flour, Hardy was referring to National Flours Mills' announcement on Tuesday that the price of its wholesale flour would be increased by 33 per cent and 28 per cent at retail as of Wednesday.
As for KFC, Hardy said the price of some meals wasn't changed but the number of chicken pieces and sides was reduced, which meant less food but for the same price. He said now that people are shopping with a tighter wallet, the prices needed to be adjusted to cater for them as well.
"We are all trying to get through these unprecedented times and hopefully, in 12-18 months, the prices may go back down."
KFC meals had a price adjustment last July, and a $5 increase to $20, in delivery charges, in November. In March, KFC announced that customers would have to pay $2 extra for condiments which was not well-received. This price hike was withdrawn.
Newsday visited KFC on Fredrick Street, Port of Spain to find out if customers noticed the increases and what they had to say about it.
Ann Marie Chalam, who was on her way from work, said, "I stopped buying KFC after the increase last year so this new one isn't bothering me at all."
Chalam was referring to the price hike announced in July when meals like the “Big Deal” and “Boss Meal” increased by $2.05. She said after that, she never looked back and now mainly consumes vegetables because of her age.
Michael Sylvester said he buys KFC at least three times a week and noticed the increases when he checked the KFC app on his phone.
"I don't have a problem with the increase because everything is going up so it's obvious this would too. These new prices won't stop me from buying KFC."
One customer, who gave his name as Mark said, he only bought KFC that day because he planned to work late to avoid the traffic.
"This won't affect me but there are other things that will affect me much more like the Country Pride flour that increased today (Tuesday) and chicken prices."
Country Pride is a Nutrimix brand and the company's last price increase for its flour products was in December when it announced an increase in retail prices between eight and 20 per cent.