9 Ways KFC Is Completely Different In Other Countries (2022)

9 Ways KFC Is Completely Different In Other Countries (1)

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ByDavid Tormsen/Updated: March 29, 2018 8:13 am EDT

Kentucky Fried Chicken(now better known as KFC) has come a long way from its humble origins inside a simple gas station in North Corbin, Kentucky. It is now one of the largest, best-known fast food franchises in the world, with over 18,000 branches in 115 countries, and you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn't recognize the white hair and matching suit of Colonel Sanders. While the decidedly tasty chicken has played a part in that success (and who can forget the mashed potatoes, gravy, and biscuits?), the company has also learned to adapt to each new market, evolving in some pretty unexpected ways. Once you leave the United States, you might from something completely different than your beloved coleslaw if you walk inside. Here are some ways KFC around the world might be very different from what you probably expected.


KFC in Japan reflects the local preference for dark meat over white meat, and serves rice bowls and bento boxes familiar to Japanese consumers. It is however far more expensive than in the U.S., which is partially made up for by the fact the workers receive extensive culinary and service training, and you can get your chicken delivered straight to your door. Omnipresent images of the Colonel have the flavor of a benign personality cult, reflected in distinctive server uniforms and friendly mascots wandering the stores.

KFC Japan is no slouch when it comes to marketing. During the summer at select locations, they offer a frankly dangerous all-you-can-eat chicken promotion. They once launched a Twitter promotion giving away keyboards, computer mouses, and USB sticks shaped like fried chicken.

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On the other hand, KFC Japan sometimes opts for a more distinguished approach. In 2013, they introduced the sadly discontinued Colonel's Dish line, featuring apple wood-smoked chicken thighs, chicken terrine (upscale pate), and ballotine (chicken roasted with apricots, plums, cranberries, orange, and white wine-soaked chestnuts). They once even operated Route 25, the world's only KFC with a high-end whiskey bar.

One of the most striking things about KFC Japan is its popularity on Christmas. This tradition dates back to the extremely popular "Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii!" ("Kentucky for Christmas!") marketing campaign of 1974. According to legend, KFC Japan's ad executives were inspired by a group of foreigners who couldn't find turkey for Christmas dinner and opted for the Colonel's chicken instead. Today, the KFC Christmas meal featuring chicken, wine, cake, and champagne is so popular that lines stretch out the doors and you'll need a reservation for your chicken bucket.


KFC got off to a rough start in the Chinese market when it translated "finger-lickin' good" into Chinese characters meaning "eat your fingers off." The company rallied, and KFC China has since expanded rapidly by abandoning the American market model of a limited and cheap menu emphasizing takeout and instead reflecting China's strong restaurant dining culture.

KFC restaurants in China have much larger eating areas to accommodate large families and groups. The kitchens are also larger to allow for more extensive and localized menu items, such as rice dishes, soy milk drinks, egg tarts, and youtiao fried dough sticks. Unpopular Western side dishes like coleslaw and mashed potato are often replaced with more palatable fare, such as a salad of shredded carrot, fungus, and bamboo shoots.

KFC China caters to novelty-seeking local consumers by introducing over 50 new or limited time-only items per year, compared to one or two such items on American KFC menus. They are also sensitive to regional differences in taste, so KFC spicy chicken is much hotter in Sichuan than in Shanghai.

KFC doesn't bother to compete on price with the ubiquitous street vendors and cheap local restaurants in China. It has instead positioned itself as a mid-range meal option for young professionals or a rare treat for families. With a focus on high standards of service, they employ over twice as many people as their U.S. counterparts, including hostesses who greet patrons and organize activities for children.

In the western province of Xinjiang, which has a large population of Muslim Uighurs with their own traditions, one KFC branch took an unusual step for attracting local customers. Ad posters in Urumqi touted KFC as the perfect venue for a traditional circumcision party, featuring a host, singing, dancing, games, gift packs, and the presence of the local KFC mascot, Chi Chi.


KFC's first attempt to expand into the Indian market floundered in the 1990s, so after relaunching in 2004, KFC India adopted a novel strategy to attract local customers by expanding their vegetarian menu options in 2012. Items such as the Veg Zinger, Paneer Zinger, Potato Krisper Burger, and Hot Veg Snacker aimed to snare India's sizable vegetarian market and entice non-vegetarians with their wide variety. Up to 42 percent of Indian households are vegetarian.

In 2016, the company fell back on a chicken-centric strategy and opted to promote their new chicken items while abandoning the marketing for their vegetarian items. But the menu hasn't changed much, which are still 30 percent vegetarian.

KFC India has also moved to take advantage of India's highly wired population. In 2016, they introduced the Watt-A-Box, packages of chicken or burgers with built-in mobile phone chargers, hoping to entice some of the 220 million Indian smartphone users. They have also signed up with Indian Railway's e-catering service, which allows travelers to use their cellphones to order buckets of chicken to tide them over on long train journeys. After the Indian state of Karnataka passed legislation against non-essential plastics like disposable plates and cutlery, KFC branches in Bengaluru began trying out edible tortilla bowls for their Rice Bowlz menu. The long term hope is these edible bowls will be expanded to KFCs throughout the country.

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The KFC Russia menu is largely familiar to Americans with a couple of quirks, such as oatmeal on the breakfast menu and draft beer on the drinks menu. Another unexpected item is the teriyaki rice bowl, the last vestige of a successful 2014 promotion of teriyaki menu options, some including disposable chopsticks to add to the Japanese feel. There were even chicken burgers and wraps served with gari, the pickled ginger slices usually used as a palate cleanser when eating sushi.

KFC Russia has a striking approach to digital marketing, relying heavily on viral media. In 2011, they gave away 100,000 free sandwiches to those who joined the official KFC page on VKontakte, the popular Russian social media site. Then in 2014 they recruited the creative agency Hungry Boys to create a viral video in which a university student throws chicken at his teacher in the lecture hall, until the lecturer gets so annoyed he approaches the student and upends the bucket on the kid's head. The resulting "Bucket Head" meme and viral video trend paid off for KFC in a country where most young people don't watch TV or pay attention to advertising.


Although KFC is expanding rapidly in several African countries, it has run into some unexpected challenges in Nigeria where importing chickens is banned and local sources are sometimes unreliable. Relative poverty for much of the population makes further expansion difficult, although KFC has been able to attract many patrons thanks to Wi-Fi and reliable air conditioning. They have adapted parts of the menu to suit local tastes, including vegetarian options and serving spicy jollof rice.

In 2014, KFC Nigeria launched a campaign on Facebook and Twitter to promote the Big Boss burger, a short-lived attempt to sell a fried chicken patty version of McDonald's Big Mac. Patrons at KFC stores in Nigeria were challenged to finish the burger in under 60 seconds. It's pretty unrealistic when you see the size of the burger, and you have to think anyone who succeeded would have trouble keeping it down.

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The Philippines

In the Philippines, KFC must contend with a strong rival, local franchise Jollibee's, which serves plenty of fried chicken, as well as burgers, spaghetti, and Filipino favorites like lumpia (meat-filled egg rolls) and bangus (milkfish). Against such a formidable foe, KFC Philippines seems to have opted for a strategy of culinary creativity.

KFC Philippines has a number of menu items that will either absolutely horrify you or that will make your mouth water. Maybe both. In 2015, they did a promotion on the Double Down Dog, a cheese-filled hot dog smothered in more cheese and set in a "bun" made of a fried chicken patty. They quickly sold out, despite some on Twitter accusing the franchise of crimes against humanity. They introduced the Chizza that same year, basically a large slice of chicken covered in pizza sauce, cheese, green peppers, and pineapple. While its status as pizza is dubious, it isn't so much different from chicken parmigiana.

Another KFC Philippines menu item which mystified foreigners was the Cheese Top burger, featuring a slice of cheese draped over the top of the bun rather than inside it. What seems bizarre to others makes sense for Filipinos familiar with the ensaymada, a sweet bun topped with shredded Edam cheese.

They took this to the extreme in 2013 with the Cheesy Bacon Fest, a promotion which allowed consumers to add cheese and bacon topping to almost everything on the menu, sadly excluding single pieces of chicken, salads, and desserts.


9 Ways KFC Is Completely Different In Other Countries (2)

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In 2009, KFC Israel hoped to attract more business by adhering to Jewish religious dietary laws. KFC chicken is traditionally coated with milk powder, violating rules against mixing meat with dairy. KFC Israel developed a milk-flavored soy powder to be used as a kosher substitute. Approved by KFC food scientists in Dallas, Texas, it allegedly had the same flavor as the original chicken. Despite these efforts, KFC Israel ceased operations in 2013, but fans of the franchise still hold hope it will return.

KFC has had far more success in the Palestinian territories. In the 1990s, attempts by the Palestinian Authority to attract American franchises failed, and Israeli KFC franchise owners demanded the Palestinians apply for the franchise through Israel. However, entrepreneur Adeeb Bakri went straight to the mother company asking for the franchise and opened his first KFC in Ramallah to high demand. KFC Palestine now has six branches in the West Bank.

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It's not as easy for the Palestinians in the isolated Gaza strip, but the Colonel finds a way. Ordering KFC in Gaza requires making an international telephone order and wire transfer, then waiting for an Egyptian taxi driver to pick it up from a KFC in the Sinai, who hands it over to a courier who smuggles it into Gaza through underground tunnels, who hands it over to a Gazan taxi driver who drives it to a local KFC entrepreneur, who then delivers it to you via motorcycle courier. Twelve pieces of cold chicken and fries costs $27, but the demand is still high enough for the KFC brokers to make a healthy profit.

South Korea

9 Ways KFC Is Completely Different In Other Countries (3)

KFC faces stiff competition in South Korea, which has an extremely well developed fried chicken restaurant industry of its own. One hit was the notorious Double Down, which proved popular enough to become a common menu item and spawn several monstrous offspring. The 2013 Zinger Double Down Maxx featured bacon, cheese, and a hash brown between two chicken buns, and in 2014 they introduced the Zinger Double Down King: bacon, BBQ sauce, white pepper sauce and a beef patty between two spicy chicken fillets.

Of course, KFC Korea also made some efforts at localizing the menu that didn't require the deaths of all the local livestock. This includes sides and desserts like fried ice cream and mozza balls (fried bread balls filled with mozzarella, coming in plain or squid ink black varieties). More recently, KFC Korea has thrown its hat in the ring of "chimaek," the popular South Korean combination of fried chicken and draft beer.


Azerbaijani KFC has a menu which is recognizable, if somewhat limited. They do win style points for their description of their wings: "Fire inside! Far from angels' wings!" What makes Azerbaijan interesting is the KFC built inside a Soviet railway station, one of the largest KFC restaurants in the world.

The Sabunchu rail station was built in 1926 by the Soviet Union to service the railway tracks between Baku and nearby petroleum-producing regions. The imposing Moorish-style building has fallen into disrepair until it was bought by local KFC franchise partner AFK Ltd. After over 3 million euros were spent on renovation, the restaurant opened in 2012 with a floor plan of 1,600 square meters, seating for 300 people, and bold plans to serve over 1.5 million meals per year.

Sadly for Azerbaijan, they lost the title of world's largest KFC restaurant to the Ukraine in 2013. The KFC located at the National Railway Station's south terminal in Kiev is 1,700 square meters and is able to serve 280 people in the dining room, 400 on the patio, and 200 cars an hour through its double drive-thru lanes. Yet it still somehow lacks the charm of the twin-domed edifice in Baku.


Why is KFC different around the world? ›

Apparently, the crunchy and crispy chicken is the main food ambassador of KFC. However, this global fast-food chain has extended their menu to different parts of the worlds to meet the specific needs of customers in different geographical locations.

Does KFC taste different different countries? ›

The interesting thing about KFC is how much it is localised to suit the local tastes and is modified to include some of the local food. This is down to the franchise model that KFC use and the freedom it gives to their franchisees to give each country its own 'flavour' of KFC.

What is the uniqueness of KFC? ›

For KFC, the unique concept starts with its red and white striped restaurants and continues with the face of its legendary founder Colonel Sanders, the nation's eighth most-used trademark, that graces everything from eight-foot billboards to eight-piece buckets.

What is KFC called in other countries? ›

KFC. The famous fried chicken joint, KFC, also known as Kentucky Fried Chicken has a different name in Canada. The fast food joint is known as PFK ('Poulet Frit Kentucky' – French for 'Kentucky Fried Chicken') in Quebec, Canada. Ironically, in France, it is called as KFC itself.

We to stick to sampling 1 piece of chicken and a few chicken wings to keep things consistent as a measure, where ever we found a KFC outlet.. You can see this in the KFC website , which does not link to any other of the KFC websites in the world, for example the Vietnamese KFC , which is completely different in layout and content delivery itself.. Which local food are incorporated into the local KFC will give an indicator of the popular dishes/ foods that are eaten in different countries.. The convert buys KFC occasionally in the UK and prefers friend chicken fast food to all others.. Yet this means that local chicken is often leaner and more muscular, which makes tougher chicken.. Chicken pieces are crispy but the stack of chicken that is sat under hot lamps has led to the chicken being slightly dry.. 2 chicken wings costs around £1.50, which is the same price as 2 pieces of chicken in other parts of the world.. The hot and spicy chicken is exactly that and has a good kick, but the chicken is pretty much standard fair to be honest.. The chicken was fresh out of the fryer, however was not drained well enough and so has fat running out of the chicken on to my plate, which is a shame, but it does mean the chicken is cooked well and is perfectly moist.. Thai chicken green pea, chicken curry (89 baht) is made cheaper than a chicken burger (99 Baht), the best egg tarts we have had since Portugal, their own ice cream bar and cheap snacks.. Fast food culture is a world away from how people used to eat in the west historically and how most developing countries still produce fresh food in.. It seems that the Asian KFC outlets have greater respect for the KFC brand and the food it serves.

Which countries do an don’t have a KFC?. We love you KFC When we travel KFC, much like McDonalds tends to be an omnipresent sight, but whilst KFC have indeed conquered a lot of the globe, they are not everywhere by a long shot.. KFC interestingly are also bigger than McDonalds in a lot of countries, as well as being present n countries without a McDonalds.. As we just said KFC are in 144 countries.. Which countries do and don’t have KFC?. Which countries do and don’t have KFC?. As we’ve said KFC are in more countries than McDonalds, this means there are some shock countries that have KFC, but no big friendly clown.. South America – Yeah we know it is not a country, BUT every country in South America has a KFC.. OK, so there is no KFC in North Korea, but during talks about opening up the country, KFC with its experience in China was touted as a foreign company that might enter the market.

KFC has made wave after wave in the marketing community due to its resounding success in China.. KFC became the first American fast food chain to enter the Chinese market when it opened its first restaurant just a short walk from Beijing’s famous Tiananmen Square in 1987.. At the time, the three-story branch was KFC’s largest in the world — an impressive start which set the tone for the chain’s continued triumphs in the country.. We’ve looked into KFC’s international marketing strategies in China to identify exactly what the chicken powerhouse has been doing so well.. With KFC’s lessons in mind, you’ll be headed down the path to success with your marketing mix, no matter where you choose to expand .. KFC knew that it wouldn’t be able to copy-paste its domestic business model onto Chinese consumers.. After 20 years in the country, KFC’s current Chinese menu is approximately twice as large as back home.. Realizing the passion Chinese eaters have for the flavors of their own local cuisines, KFC even sub-segmented product offerings within China to account for these local preferences.. KFC China markets its breakfast offerings based on their quality and hygiene practices, going so far as to dub its youtiao — a puffy fried dough stick — the “Don’t Worry Youtiao” (安心油条).. KFC reinvented itself as the go-to destination for clean, high-quality Chinese breakfast, and in doing so succeeded in manipulating its brand awareness so that it would be as much a natural breakfast choice as any other local option.. As part of their rebranding towards a service-focused restaurant, KFC invested heavily in giving its China employees the training they’d need to excel.. When KFC entered China all the way back in 1987, it put its first-mover advantage to good use as it expanded by creating its own self-operated distribution network , rather than relying on China’s then-underdeveloped infrastructure.. Source: TodayOnHistory.com With its own warehouses and trucks, KFC didn’t need to use pre-existing networks to deliver chickens around the country to its growing empire of restaurants.. The trio helped launch KFC’s trendy Black Burger — a Zinger served on a bun dyed black with vegetable carbon — and have regularly partnered with the company to push a variety of other items, including the recent “Angry Burger” variation inspired by the Angry Birds franchise.. KFC didn’t happen across this phenomenally successful marketing approach by chance.

Comparing difference market strategy KFC and McDonald used to improve their market position in Chinese fast food market.. The analysis of cross-cultural management strategy adopted in KFC and McDonald. Product Strategy, Price Strategy, Place Strategy and Promotion Strategy are discussed together with the example of KFC and McDonald.. Hofstede’s model is generally accepted as the most comprehensive framework of national cultures values which comprise the difference in performance of the managers and employees on the four dimensions of national culture: power distance, individualism vs. collectivism, uncertainty avoid index, masculine vs. feminine as the reference model to analyze the cultural differences.. Western Fast Food Company, for instance, the integration process for Chinese culture in KFC experiences three stages, which are product culture, brand culture, and corporate culture.. Market factors like consumers’perceptions, expectations and ability to pay, need for product adaptation and market servicing, market structure, distribution channels, discounting pressures, market growth, competition objectives, strategies and strength can also affect the pricing strategy of a company.. This chapter consists of an introduction to the research approaches and strategies we chose and how to collect valuable data and analysis data to find the answer to research questions.. According to the research purpose, data about marketing strategies in Chinese market need to be collected.


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