China’s biggest restaurant company is the owner of Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pizza Hut: Yum! Brands. The American fast food purveyor introduced KFC to the Chinese in 1987. Now it has over 5,000 KFC outlets across the country. That’s more than a quarter of its global empire.
Dining in KFC China is a totally different experience from that in the US, not least because of the items you find on the menu there. You’ll never see breakfast congee, fried dough, Peking duck wrap, or a rice-based lunch combo on KFC US menus. This localized menu is constantly updated. Its embrace of local food tastes in China meant KFC largely abandoned the business model that made it so dominant in its home market. The strategy has been critical to its success there, as studies have shown.
Other fast food giants have emulated KFC’s recipe for growth. Now, you can see localized menus at almost every global food chain in China: Subway sells spicy Szechuan chicken wrap; Pizza Hut sells durian pizza; Starbucks even makes mooncakes, a traditional Chinese dessert, for the annual Moon Festival.
Check out the video above for more insight into these “fusion” food.