CHINA - Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) China is now fighting back with new menu items and a revised marketing strategy nationwide after the company's Chinese business was hit hard following food safety issues at the end of 2012.
KFC China (operated by Yum! Restaurants China, a division of Yum! Brands, Inc.) has announced the debut of an exciting new menu in its nearly 4,600 restaurants in over 900 cities.
The Company also outlined innovative new marketing strategies to further elevate the brand and enhance consumer engagement. The announcement marks the next phase of the Company’s aggressive and comprehensive new image - described as 'restage' - for the KFC brand in China.
Sam Su, Chairman and CEO, Yum! Restaurants China and Vice Chairman, Yum! Brands said: “Therefore, KFC’s Restage also includes redesigned product packaging, an enhanced service model, contemporary staff uniforms, gradual roll-out of a new store design, and a number of digital initiatives including a new mobile app, E-menu and pre-pay take-out option.
“We are excited to build off of KFC’s upward momentum coming out of last year and announce the next phase of the Brand’s Restage in China. Our Menu Revamp is unprecedented in KFC’s 27-year history in China and in the quick-service restaurant industry because we are introducing 15 products simultaneously. Going forward, we plan to do a similar menu update at least once a year with innovative and delicious products.”
The KFC China team developed the new menu by carefully listening to customers on social media and through rigorous consumer research and market testing. The updated menu features 15 newly launched products – including two chicken sandwiches, three rice dishes, four snacks and six drinks or desserts – taking the total number of options at KFC to 66. Among the 15 products, 10 are new while five are re-launched versions of customer favourites.
Mr Su continued: Good restaurant brands know that the way to customers’ hearts is through their stomachs, but delicious food alone is not enough. We also need to deliver a comfortable store environment, excellent service, and a distinctive culture for our customers. Therefore, KFC’s Restage also includes redesigned product packaging, an enhanced service model, contemporary staff uniforms, gradual roll-out of a new store design, and a number of digital initiatives including a new mobile app, E-menu and prepay take-out option.” Su added.
The Company will provide additional details about these initiatives in the coming weeks.
KFC China is also enhancing its marketing communications to convey exciting news to consumers. For the first time, the Company leveraged two popular Chinese celebrities – Chen Kun and Ke Zhendong – in a national campaign to promote Original Recipe® and Extra Crispy™ chicken by asking consumers to vote for their favourite product online.
The campaign received a lot of positive buzz in social media with over 20 million votes. Original Recipe won the competition and will remain on the menu as a permanent item while Extra Crispy chicken will appear periodically as a limited time offer. In addition, the Company announced that four celebrities – Ke Zhendong plus Zhang Liang, Wu Mochou and Chen Xiao – will represent the new Sandwich, Rice, Snack and Drink/Dessert line of products. They will appear in national marketing initiatives to promote the new menu.
Yum! Brands will release first-quarter earnings on 22 April after market hours.
TheMeatSite News Desk