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How KFC Made The Chinese Cheer For Chicken

KFC’s sweeping success in China has amazed industry analysts, leading the fast-food franchise to be called the most successful foreign company in China, according to BNet.com. As a result and as high praise to the Colonel, there has been an enormous surge in chicken consumption among the Chinese.

Urban Chinese increased their per capita intake of chicken by 219% from 1983 to 2006, according to China’s Ministry of Agriculture. While greater availability of packaged meat and rising incomes are factors, KFC is one of the largest single contributors to this poultry phenomenon.

In China, poultry consumption at food outlets, restaurants and hotels has nearly doubled, from 4.4 million metric tons in 1998 to 7 million metric tons in 2008, according to Guo Huiyong, an analyst at Orient Agribusiness Consultant in Beijing. China’s new love of chicken is a prime example of how the global expansion of American food companies is transforming the way the world eats.

Today, KFC dominates China’s fast-food landscape with 3,900 restaurants. The next largest competitor, McDonald’s, has 1,100 restaurants. KFC’s success in China can be partly attributed to the way it adapted its menu to please local tastes. KFC’s in China offer foods like the Dragon Twister, a chicken wrap in a Peking duck-type sauce, as well as a spicy tofu chicken rice based on Sichuan cuisine. Of course, the Chinese are also enjoying previously non-existent foods like buckets of the Colonel’s fried chicken.

YUM Brands, which owns KFC, is now earning more of its operating profits from KFC in China than all of its U.S. restaurants combined. In fact, the export of American products offers huge growth potential for U.S. food companies. Now these brands are rapidly expanding into countries around the world in the hopes of achieving KFC’s finger-licking good fortune.

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MDG Advertising is a full-service South Florida advertising agency, with offices in Florida and New York, that specializes in developing targeted franchise marketing solutions, exceptional online executions, and solid branding and media buying strategies that give franchises a real competitive advantage. MDG Advertising handles creative, media, and interactive marketing for Coverall, one of the world’s leading commercial-cleaning franchising companies, with a global network of more than 90 support centers and 9,000 franchisees.

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