A Chinese man hatched an ingenious plan to get his pet turtle through airport security: he disguised it as a hamburger. It looks like he discarded the normal meat that comes in a KFC burger, placed the turtle between the bun and then re-wrapped the “sandwich” before making his way through security.
As Li passed through airport security, X-ray screening machines detected a few “odd protrusions” sticking out of a KFC burger that the man had packed in his bag.
Airport staff determined that the protrusions looked suspiciously like turtle limbs, and asked to inspect Li’s luggage.
“There’s no turtle in there, just a hamburger,” Li reportedly insisted. “There’s nothing special to see inside.”
Li finally acquiesced to an inspection after repeated requests from airport staff, who uncovered the pet turtle hidden inside the burger. When asked why he had devised this strange idea, Li said that he had only wanted to travel together with his “beloved” turtle.
A country known for its nomads and ger yurts, it’s the most sparsely populated country in the world. But it’s also growing: the Mongolian economy is expected to expand 15.7% this year, the fastest pace in Asia.
That means it’s prime real estate for a large restaurant chain looking to expand. But how do you go about introducing fried chicken into a place that’s usually known for mutton and goat?
“We are conducting a market survey together with a global research company to determine the market potential and identify eating habits of Mongolians, which will outline our development road map,” said Ts. Baatarsaikhan, chief executive officer of Tavan Bogd Group.
Which begs the question: do Mongolians prefer original or extra crispy?
Is that the smell of delicious fried chicken? Yes, yes it is. Japan Airlines and KFC Japan have teamed up to bring fliers crisp and juicy goodness as part of the Air Series in-flight meal program on select international flights between December 1, 2012, and February 28, 2013.
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 aChinese-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?
In what can only described as part PR stunt, and part high value transport, the top secret recipe for KFC’s original recipe is being temporarily relocated.
The yellowed sheet of paper involved lists the 11 spices used in Colonel Sanders recipe, and is the same one still used today to create their signature fried chicken.
The relocation was necessary because Yum Brands, the parent of KFC is upgrading the security at KFC’s headquarters in Louisville in order to ensure that the recipe stays as secret as it is today.
In total, just 2 people within KFC have access to the recipe. When orders are placed for the special blend of spices, the ingredients are delivered by separate vendors so no one vendor ever has access to the exact blend.
In a scene right out of the Italian Job, a briefcase was handcuffed to a former New York city police detective, and was transported to the new undisclosed location in an armored car, accompanied by off-duty police officers and security guards.
Of course, to add a little show to the whole event, the KFC web site has even added a new section called “Original Recipe Secret Safe“. And I have to admit, the whole thing seems to be working, because I suddenly have a craving for some fried chicken…