Fast food giant KFC has dismissed claims by a South African entrepreneur accusing the company of stealing his idea of a local dish known as kota, local media report.
Romeo Malepe accuses KFC of appropriating his idea of a chicken kota that the fast food chain is launching.
Kota, also known locally as Sphatlo, is a big sandwich with multiple ingredients stuffed into a quarter loaf of bread, wrapped and eaten on the go.
Mr Malepe told a local publication that his idea for a “Streetwise Kota” was stolen while looking for a partnership with the chain.
Mr Malepe is also said to have taken to social media recently to condemn the fast-food chain for allegedly taking his idea which he said he developed four years ago.
But KFC has refuted the claims in a statement to South African media, saying it was “no secret that kota is a famous South African meal and the limited-edition KFC Sphatlho is a result of an internal product development process”.
It said that for over 50 years, the chain had been inspired by the South African heritage and culture to develop local innovative products in their menu.
“We will continue to use South African food trends as inspiration to bring relevant products to our fans across South Africa,” KFC was quoted as saying.