Fast Food In China

China loves fast food. Any big city has KFC, McDonald's, and Pizza Hut signage everywhere, sometimes within 50 meters of one other. As of 2010, fast food outlets were in over 650 Chinese cities. Daily junk food consumption is the norm nowadays.

Wildfire-spreading

Fast food was the only food business to rise last year, thanks to China's rising consumption. China's fast food business gained 13% compared to 2.9% in the U.S. Yum Brands, the parent company of KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell, opens one new KFC a day on average. This year, there were 560 Pizza Huts, 1,200 McDonald's, and 3,000 KFCs (www.money.cnn.com). Even two-month-old data can't show what's occurring in China with one new KFC per day.

To fat

How's China? Local and international physicians are worried about growing obesity rates. Less than 50 years ago, most of China was starving, but today it's feasting. 15% of Chinese children aged 10-12 are overweight, and 8% are medically obese, according to the Education Ministry. These figures are frightening, especially compared to other overweight nations. Yang Qing, the Health Ministry's director, told USA Today, "The speed of the [weight] increase greatly exceeds Western growth trends." This has all occurred in the past decade, which is fantastic.

In 10 years, much has changed. China's economy has improved, allowing millions to earn more and raise their standard of living. More money means less activity. Physical labor is becoming secondary to sedentary white collar jobs. Add online gaming and other internet activities to the gluttony of fast food restaurants, and the rise in obesity isn't surprising.

West wins?

How come Chinese love junk food? Fast food companies' clever marketing in China is one reason. You know what to expect at chain restaurants before you enter. But the folks behind KFC, McDonald's, and other comparable enterprises saw the necessity for adaptability. Chinese KFCs have items unavailable in the West. That is because they not only noticed that Chinese palates are distinct, but also that they devoted the time and money to design new goods exclusively for those palates. This localization of a multinational brand enables Chinese fast food customers feel part of a bigger community while enjoying localized flavours.

I think curiosity also played a big role in the popularity of fast food restaurants in China, albeit that interest has likely grown into habit. No one knew what to make of KFC in China in the 1980s. There's no better approach to lure customers into your new restaurant than with something unique. Many in China believe that items from the West are superior, or that if something is good enough for Westerners, it's good enough for them. This picture may have inspired young Chinese to eat at American fast food restaurants.

These junk food havens appear to have filled a gap for consumers who desire tasty meals at reasonable pricing in a clean, welcoming environment. When a bowl of noodles costs 5 RMB, 15 RMB for a burger, fries, and cola doesn't seem like much. Spending 15 RMB at McDonald's gets you excellent service (due to mandated employee training), clean facilities, and a diverse atmosphere.

People are also prepared to pay more at fast food restaurants due to a growing concern about food safety. While many roadside food booths have no government oversight over safety standards and many restaurants with "failed health inspection" stickers are nonetheless filled, many locals seek greater health standards. This population likes international fast food businesses that follow Western hygienic standards. It's not simple to keep chain restaurants cozy enough for a first date while still attracting tired parents. McDonald's and KFC do it. They'll stay popular until they cease supplying what the Chinese demand.

Personal member service
Click for details
Corporate member service
Click for details
Jobs
Candidates
Services
Me