People Who Buy KFC Are More Likely To Be Lonely, According To Science


Sat there all alone, eating a KFC bargain bucket for one on an evening? Well, there’s a reason for your choice apparently, and it’s quite sad.

Scientists have found lonely people are more likely to buy food or products which feature faces on the packaging – in order to ‘fill a social void’.

Essentially, some individuals are buying things with faces either on them, or associated with the product, in order to replicate actual people.


According to the research, it means McDonald’s Ronald McDonald and KFC’s Colonel Sanders are more tempting when you’re feeling lonely.

Findings, published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, say fast food such as KFC or brands including Coco Pops, Rice Crispies and Kinder Bueno could be more appealing if you haven’t been around friends in some time.

Professor Bettina Cornwell, the head of marketing at the University of Oregon said:

Visuals can fill a void for consumers experiencing a lack of social connection.

When people see faces in branding materials, their likeability for that brand goes up.


Researchers carried out several tests to show their theory, creating 18 fake brands – some with faces on – and participants were then asked to answer questions about the brands and themselves.

The results found more people warmed to the brands with faces on them when they felt lonely.

*Slides KFC burger to one side…*