KFC is one of the most popular fast food chains in China, with more than 2,100 locations in 450 cities. Perhaps surprisingly, McDonald’s is not nearly as successful, with only about half the number of restaurants. This is the reverse of the situation in the United States, where McDonald’s is often considered to be number one while KFC trails behind.
So why do the Chinese prefer KFC to McDonald’s? The blog The China Expat has a few possible answers. One of them is that KFC caters better to Chinese tastes than McDonald’s does. For example, KFC’s menu includes Traditional Peking Chicken Rolls, Preserved Sichuan Pickle and Shredded Pork Soup, Happy French Fry Shakes (with beef, orange and Uygur barbecue spices) and for breakfast a Chinese-style porridge called congee. McDonald’s caters its menu to international tastes, but not to the same extent in China.
In addition, a slick marketing campaign from KFC has some Chinese convinced that KFC is actually healthy. “Their message is that KFC is the ‘new fast food,’” says the China Expat. (Does this mean KFC’s appalling new “Double Down” hasn’t arrived in China yet?)
Finally, and perhaps most importantly in these lean economic times, KFC has better coupons than McDonald’s. The coupons are apparently so good that Chinese KFC’s are occasionally mobbed by coupon-holders.
Go here for the full China Expat post. Any other ideas why KFC beats McDonald’s in China?