Without knowing it, someone in the last five years became the final person to ever drink a KFC Krusher on New Zealand soil.
Did they even know their consumption of the loaded thick shake would be the last trip down a Kiwi gullet for the beloved drink? All flavours, from Kookies and Kream to Double Caramel and everything in between, disappeared from New Zealand suddenly and without explanation.
Still available in other parts of the world - such as KFC Uganda - it begs the question: What actually happened to NZ's KFC Krusher?
Between approximately 2009 and 2020, you may remember being told the Krusher machine was broken, to come back tomorrow, or even that it was too late or early. This is because the dessert beverage’s ingredients (e.g. the “real bitz”) made the machine a genuine nightmare for employees to clean - one that would last hours according to accounts from former K-Fry workers.
“To meet clock-out time and cleaning targets set by the head office, it's virtually impossible without cleaning the Krusher machine at around 9,” said one former Auckland employee in a 2018 Reddit post.
“Allowing customers to order means it has to be re-cleaned, so generally staff are just told by managers to stop selling them.”
“It takes a little bit of time to make one,” an anonymous former employee once told Chronicle Live.
“It's a messy job, and we're usually running around cleaning stuff up just before we shut the doors. It's counterproductive when you've just cleaned the machine and you get someone asking for one, as you've got to clean everything over again...so we just say it's off."
The Krushers' creator hated them, but corporate isn't going to make a change purely because of complaints from minimum wage staff.
When money is at stake, that's when a company gets shit done. Thus it looks like the banishing of the beloved beverage was done in the name of profitability, but could they really just remove a fan-favourite item for no other reason?
A few months before the last Kiwi Krusher was seen (the exact date is near-impossible to track down, but KFC NZ last posted about the Krusher in December of 2019) there was a commitment by KFC UK and Ireland to “remove 20% of calories per serving” by 2025.
But, if KFC did have a global mission to reduce calories, why not kill two soon-to-be-Kentucky-fried-birds with one stone and get rid of the “counter-productive” drink that's got it's fair share of calories?
Assuming the employee accounts are to be believed, the drink's disappearance is a cruel catch-22: Krushers are no longer here because the very process of making them is disruptive.
In time, one of the hundreds of petitions calling for the grand return of the drink might be successful, but it’s looking like it’s going to take someone inventing a whole new machine.
Anything that undergoes a sudden disappearance shrouded in mystery is sure to be the subject of conversation for years. But when that thing is a tasty treat that was not offered anywhere else, the idea of it will become a legend. That’s what happened to the KFC Krusher.
Because we're proper journalists here, we've reached out to KFC so they can either confirm or deny if the Krusher will ever return. We'll let you know if they get back, but it's no biggie if they don't, at least we know why it disappeared in the first place.