The Edible KFC Nail Polish You Forgot Existed

Unless you happen to be a private investigator who has spied on a person's every moment, finding the perfect food-themed item for someone can be a terribly treacherous task. After all, how can you be sure that you're going to find something they actually want? You can always stick to the ancient traditions of loading up on booze and chocolate, but they are unlikely to impress people year after year. Perhaps the solution is to wow with unexpected displays of flair. That way, even if the idea backfires, you have the confidence to know that you tried something original and exciting.

There is an ample collection of original – maybe even exciting items that have been made by KFC. Even though it's famed for its crispy fried chicken, KFC has also built up a considerable reputation for selling branded merchandise, including the impressive chicken-scented firelog, Colonel Sanders pillowcase, and fried chicken-themed Crocs (via KFC). However, what has likely been long forgotten in the lineup of uniquely KFC products is its edible nail polish (via Racked).

KFC received a mixed response to its chicken-flavored nail polish

BBC News reports that two flavors of KFC's unusual nail polish were created – a pale shade of Original Recipe and a bright orange Hot and Spicy – and introduced in 2016. CBC Radio explains that rather than being widely distributed, the polish was given to celebrities, bloggers, and social media stars in Hong Kong. While some samples were sent to select recipients, others got their hands on the nail polish at a launch party. 

Notably, in places like Hong Kong, KFC's "finger lickin' good" slogan wasn't as well-known at the time. Perhaps there was no better way to solve that problem than by instructing recipients to lick their freshly painted nails. A review by BBC News found that while both varieties tasted greatly of spices, neither contained any discernible chicken flavor. The Wall Street Journal agreed, describing the taste as "spices trapped in gloop" and noting that the polish required repetitive coats to show any noticeable color.

Despite the unimpressive reviews, CBC Radio notes that the edible nail polish was a huge success for KFC. It was incredibly popular online (receiving over 200 million views on social media), resulting in a brand boost for KFC that hugely increased its appeal to younger audiences. Brand publicity was clearly KFC's aim: The chain only made 300 to 500 bottles of polish and expressed no plans to sell it, according to the WSJ.