Last time we talked about how McDonald’s made their debut in Japan, but KFC in China is amplified to a whole different scale! In 2021, KFC made $7.1B in China with its ~8,500 locations in the country. Here’s how they succeeded: 👇 👇
KFC in China is unlike any fast food joint in America.
Not only is it the top QSR by a wide margin, it's also a be… https://t.co/07MXlOBYkw
The Start: 🐣
KFC opened its first store in Beijing back in 1987.
To scale locations, KFC hired executives with fast-food business experiences in Asia.
Many of them were from Taiwan, having worked for McD previously.
The team of executives were then dubbed the “Taiwan Gang”, and these 3 decisions they made led KFC to be the King of Fried Chicken in China today.
1. Localised Menu 🍲
Understanding the market, KFC China caters to local tastes by introducing local varieties besides their signature fried chicken.
They release ~50 new products a year compared to 2-3 in USA, ie. egg tarts, soy milk, fish & shrimp burgers etc.
2. Real Estate 🏘️
Instead of competing with McD in China’s tier 1 cities, KFC chose to expand via hundreds of smaller cities.
Appealing to the Chinese masses, not just the hyper-urban.
This allowed them to secure the best real estate in these cities and become nationally recognised, ie. 1st mover advantage.
This gave KFC a massive 30% fast food market share in China, beating McD’s 15%.
3. Supply Chain 🛒
Due to the sheer size of China, this enabled KFC to invest in a local distribution arm.
It was a big price to pay but ultimately worth it for them to continue releasing new products quickly and expand their menu.
Besides the “secret” herbs and spices, all the other menu items are sourced locally.
Bonus fact: 🥗
KFC is so successful in China that they opened a few spin-offs.
K-Pro is a fast-food chain by KFC for the health-conscious consumer, they don’t sell fried chicken, instead they sell juices, salads and sandwiches!
KFC also used its iconic Colonel Sanders to open tea shops called “Grandpa Comfy Tea”.
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