In India, KFC is serving fried chicken in boxes that double as phone chargers

Choose your vice.
Choose your vice.
Image: KFC
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KFC is gifting Indians boxes of burgers and fried chicken with in-built mobile phone chargers.

The fast-food chain has launched limited-edition “Watt-A-Box” packages in Delhi and Mumbai to apparently add “an element of utility” to the otherwise humble paper boxes. Most of these boxes are up for grabs through an online contest, although some are being gifted to customers at select stores.

“Each one of us spends a considerable amount of time on smartphones daily. And the phone battery going dead is almost like a nightmare! No longer is that the case, with the Watt-a-Box around,” Lluis Ruiz Ribot, chief marketing officer at the fast-food chain’s India unit, told The Times of India, commenting on this India-specific innovation.

India is the world’s second-largest smartphone market with 220 million users. With mobile network providers offering affordable data plans, Indians are increasingly plugged-in to their smartphones. According to a July 2015 study, they spend an average of 169 minutes a day on their smartphones.

Besides, this isn’t the first time Yum! Brands—parent company of Pizza Hut, KFC, and Taco Bell—has tried such innovations. Earlier this year, the Nasdaq-listed company announced that it will deploy order-taking robots in its Pizza Hut outlets in Japan.

Companies like Yum! are under pressure to revive footfalls in stores amid growing competition and lukewarm demand in India. For the quarter ending March 31, 2016, sales at Pizza Hut and KFC outlets declined by 6% and 1% respectively, according to a report by The Economic Times.

Hopefully, charging points inside boxes of fried chicken will help the company’s top-line, unlike our waistlines.