Monday 22 May 2017

Exactly when did Ikea chicken wings stop 'meeting customers' satisfaction'?

It’s the biggest chicken-related food news to hit Singapore since KFC’s Chizza.

On Friday, Ikea posted on its Facebook page:
"Dear fans, thank you for all your feedback. We are aware that our chicken wings have not been meeting our customers’ satisfaction recently, so we have decided to stop selling them temporarily from May 23 so we can improve on it."
May 23?

That’s tomorrow!

That means today is your last chance to eat Ikea’s famed chicken wings that have not been meeting customers’ satisfaction recently.

After this, the wings will be replaced with $1 chicken tenders. If you’re not interested in eating chicken, I understand Ikea sells other stuff too.

Like hot dogs and meatballs — but no horse meat.

Rumour has it that Ikea also has a significant side business hawking pieces of furniture with weird umlauted names like they’re metal bands or something.

Still, people mostly go to Ikea to complain about the food.

What’s unusual is that the company is actually doing something about the complaints.

I mean, people have been complaining about local TV shows for decades, but Mediacorp still keeps churning them out.

OK Chope!, anyone? Not Najib with a B, apparently.

But Ikea’s Facebook post also raises a few questions.

Like why announce on Friday that you’re going to stop selling the wings on Tuesday? Why not stop selling them immediately?

If you know your food sucks, why inflict it on your customers for four more days?

I suspect there are people who have read the news and want to taste for themselves how bad the wings really are to be in the news.

First World problem?

The thing is, Singaporeans used to love Ikea chicken wings. Then, like the MRT, something went wrong in the last few years.

They just don’t make ’em like they used to.

As Ikea said, "our chicken wings have not been meeting our customers’ satisfaction recently".

But exactly how recently is "recently"?

Founded in Sweden in 1943, Ikea has been in Singapore since 1978.

So, yeah, the post could be a little more specific in terms of the time frame.

But one Facebook commenter has helpfully narrowed it down:
"The story years back was that there was corruption on the old supplier, then they changed to a new one, we (my family, even my young daughter age five or six then) noticed that ever since they changed to the new supplier, the standard dropped."

Involving chicken wings?

Yes, corruption.

Involving chicken wings.

That, surprisingly, is not fake news.

The guy who supplied chicken wings to Ikea between 2003 and 2009 ran "afowl" of the law by bribing an Ikea food services manager and in 2011, was jailed four months and fined $180,000 for corruption.

What a bad egg.

Presumably, after the supplier was caught, Ikea had to find a new supplier as it would be difficult to supply chicken parts from prison.

And it seems the wings haven’t been the same since.

You know what they say, forbidden wings taste the yummiest.

That was like eight years ago.

And only now Ikea decides to stop selling them temporarily so that the company can "improve on it"?


Perhaps the wings can be marinated in some special corruption sauce.

Hey, anything is better than the Chizza.

- Published in The New Paper, 22 May 2017

It wasn't the quality of the chicken wings alone; yes, they look malnutritioned.

Even the cooking process was compromised. Last time I ate them was more than a year ago; the wings were not thoroughly cooked, seemed to be straight out of the freezer into the oil. I feedback, and changed for some other food. Since then I stopped eating their chicken wings.