China Food

A brief history of KFC magic snacks

KFC’s product is the flow itself.
Nowadays, KFC frequently appears in the public view, either the magic copy of crazy Thursday or which snack has been changed by magic.
If you observe carefully, you will find that KFC has not only changed snacks more and more frequently, but also led a group of foreign fast food to the “wrong path”.
In the past, there were Burger King and raccoon, and there were simply noodles in the burger, and then McDonald’s launched coriander ice cream.
Burger King raccoon simply noodles hamburger
McDonald’s coriander new place
In this issue, I’ll talk about why KFC has to work.
How did the old Beijing chicken roll come from?
In 2002, Su Jingshi, then president of Yum! Greater China and head of KFC and pizza hut, put forward a bold idea to the US headquarters:
I want to introduce tacobell to China.
Taco Bell is a brand that operates Mexican fast food. It is a brother of KFC. However, as soon as Su Jingshi made this remark, foreigners in the US headquarters opposed it one after another.
In the eyes of Americans, only Americans are used to the taste of Mexican food. Taco Bell also tried to enter Singapore, but failed.
But Su Jingshi insisted on his judgment.
In order to prove that Chinese consumers can accept Mexican taste, KFC launched a new Mexican chicken roll in China in June 2002.
As an outpost of Taco Bell’s entry into China, Mexican chicken roll was launched. In the face of this beautiful data, the U.S. headquarters had to recognize Su Jingshi’s judgment. The next year, Taco Bell’s first store was born in Shanghai.
Unfortunately, Taco Bell didn’t become the next KFC and didn’t even see the tail lights of pizza hut. It withdrew from China due to poor management only five years later and didn’t officially return until 2016.
But Su Jingshi’s judgment is accurate. He really understands the taste of the Chinese people. In the world food version, Mexico is definitely one of the countries that best meet the dietary preferences of the Chinese people.
After Taco Bell successfully entered China, Su Jingshi handed in his second plan, hoping to build an original Chinese fast food brand in China.
Taking on the popular Mexican chicken roll, KFC launched the old Beijing chicken roll.
Dragon Twister
The launch of this product is also very smart. First of all, Mexican chicken roll has been very popular. The old Beijing chicken roll has been improved on the basis of Mexican chicken roll. In addition to fried chicken meat, the sauce and side dishes have been replaced with sweet flour sauce, cucumber and Beijing onion, which obviously draws lessons from Beijing roast duck.
In fact, I always think taco itself is a food very similar to Beijing roast duck. This change is very easy for Chinese people to accept. The popularity of old Beijing chicken roll is better than that of Mexican chicken roll.
With the success of the two chicken rolls, Su Jingshi’s proposal for Chinese fast food has received all-round support from the headquarters.
On April 27, 2005, the first “Oriental White” was officially opened in Xujiahui, Shanghai.
This literary shop name is exactly what Su Jingshi came up with after using the end of Su Shi’s famous article “Chibi Fu” to “I don’t know the whiteness of the East”.
Although the high hopes of the East are white, there is no whirlwind of Chinese fast food. The permanent shutdown was also announced a few days ago. However, this plan inadvertently led KFC to find a way to change local snacks.
When it comes to KFC, we must mention our old rival McDonald’s.
You know, in other markets, the five KFCs are not enough for McDonald’s, but only in China, KFC can play back and forth with McDonald’s, and even show a unilateral crushing trend for a long time.
On the one hand, there are reasons why McDonald’s does not give it strength. On the other hand, Su Jing Shi is indeed a suck.
Su Jingshi is a person who is extremely optimistic about the Chinese market. In his own words, “people who are really enthusiastic about catering, how can they not pay attention to China?”  
Looking back now, this understanding seems to be taken for granted, but it was actually very rare in the 1990s.
At that time, although foreign enterprises also believed that the Chinese market had potential, there was a common problem that there was no difference between the Chinese market and other countries. Both Chinese and foreign companies like to use the scoring method in the establishment of the company, so they also use the scoring method in the international management.
This also leads to conflicts between Chinese local teams and their parent companies. For example, in the past when the local team proposed a plan, the parent company from market research, review to approval may have passed half a year. When it is time to land, the cauliflower will be cold.
Simply put, because we know we can make money in China, we attach importance to strategy. And because I don’t think there is any particularity in the Chinese market, I ignore it tactically.
Su Jingshi is different. As a person with a strong sense of the East, he required to have an understanding of Chinese traditional culture in the early stage of building the team. Only in this way can he better find a balance between western fast food and Chinese culture.
And with the development of KFC becoming more and more stable, Su Jingshi also relies more on mainland employees, especially in the research and development of new products, almost all of them are Chinese.
The firm localization has brought rich returns to KFC. Since 2012, the contribution rate of China to the parent company’s revenue has been stable at more than 50%.
Due to the strong performance of KFC group’s independent business department in China in 2005, KFC group announced its establishment in China.
On October 20, 2015, yum China was split from the group to establish an independent company Yum China.
It can be said that the firm localization strategy is the foundation of KFC’s success in China, and also created many magic modified snacks later.
Local breakfast revolution
Although the old Beijing chicken roll is very famous, it is not KFC’s first attempt to make Chinese food.
As early as a year before the birth of the old Beijing chicken roll, KFC launched cold rice and mushroom rice in the north and seafood egg flower porridge and mushroom chicken porridge in the south.
With the launch of porridge, KFC will also advance its business hours to 7 a.m.
It is not uncommon for KFC to make rice. Previously, KFC launched mushroom rice and chicken antler rice in the Hong Kong market.
However, breakfast nutritious porridge is tailor-made for the mainland market.
Choosing porridge to break the game and kick off the localization of KFC is actually a very smart choice.
First of all, at that time, the national breakfast industry was still a blue ocean. Chinese people are still more used to having breakfast at home or at the stall in front of their home. If there is a chain breakfast brand covering the whole country, it is very imaginative.
Moreover, for KFC, which had thousands of stores at that time, making breakfast could effectively improve the Ping’an effect.
Just like the coffee shop turns into a bar at night, it only needs to extend the business hours.
Secondly, porridge is a very suitable single product for standardization, and the supply chain is very stable.
Third, porridge is a low-cost single product. KFC sold a bowl of porridge for 6 yuan in 2002, and the profit is very considerable.
Marked by the launch of a series of new breakfast products such as breakfast porridge, cheese egg burger and potato stick, KFC officially announced its entry into the breakfast market.
Since then, KFC has successively launched rice balls and soybean milk. In 2008, KFC launched “reassuring fried dough sticks”.
When KFC made breakfast, consumers didn’t buy it very much at first.
The first is the price. KFC costs 6 yuan for a bowl of porridge and 3 yuan for a fried dough stick. The price is about five or six times that of roadside stalls.
The second is the taste. KFC’s fried dough sticks, in one word, are “noodles”. They don’t taste crispy, like eating fried bread. And the shape is also thick and short, which is far from the traditional fried dough sticks.
At that time, in Shanghai, KFC invited a group of media reporters to experience breakfast in the store. After eating fried dough sticks and porridge, the media teachers also reacted in unison:
“It’s almost the same as what you usually eat.”  
The public’s idea is similar to that of the media teacher: “if I want to eat fried dough sticks and soybean milk, why do I come to KFC?”  
But later, it turned out that breakfast was a very important layout for KFC.
With the progress of urbanization, more and more breakfast stalls are squeezed out of the city. With the faster and faster pace of the city, going out to buy breakfast has increasingly become a rigid need.
With each passing day, a new market is created.
Here you can talk about KFC’s product architecture.
KFC has a product strategy called “concentric circle”:
Fried chicken is the core of all products. Hamburgers, French fries, cola and other very stable basic products are in the second ring, and the third ring outside is drinks and coffee. The outermost layer is those seasonal pieces.
In this concentric circle, the further to the center, there will be more long-term products. These products have large sales and high profits, which are the cornerstone of KFC’s profits.
The more to the edge, the more short-term products. These products are highly topical and novel. They are KFC’s sharp drainage tool, but the profit structure is not as good as the core products. The existence of these products is to help KFC brush the sense of existence.
It is very difficult for a new product to squeeze into the second ring from the outermost layer and become a member of the fixed menu. At least you have to become a phenomenal item like the old Beijing chicken roll.
This is also in line with the Pareto Law of the catering industry: 80% of the income is actually brought by 20% of the dishes.
However, under Su Jingshi’s firm localization strategy, a large number of localized items have occupied a stable place in KFC’s menu. In addition to the porridge and rice mentioned above, they are similar to Lotus fresh vegetable soup, French style baked cake, red bean milk tea, purple potato ball
There is always a limited time to return, in and out of the menu, but never really say goodbye to our tender cattle.
To some extent, at this stage, KFC is still seriously making Chinese fast food. Although in Yum’s plan, Dongfang Jibai is the brand that should become the leader of Chinese fast food.
But obviously, KFC is 10000 times better than little brother in making Chinese fast food.
Crisis and Internet popularity
However, as an old brand that entered the Chinese market in the 1980s, KFC will inevitably face the problem of brand aging.
The core problem is its positioning.
At the beginning of entering China, KFC was positioned as a “family restaurant”, serving family customers, especially those with children. They will dress up seriously and eat fried chicken in the store with the mentality of going to the restaurant.
When I was a child, there would be a small children’s paradise in KFC near my home. You could go in and play with the slide. After playing, you could also eat chicken. When you go to KFC for your birthday, the clerk will give the little birthday star an exclusive paper crown.
KFC is the happy hometown of a Guan in childhood.
But children will grow up and they will not need children’s paradise forever. The halo of KFC’s early “foreign fast food” is gradually fading and becoming an ordinary chain brand.
But this process may be long, and KFC has spared no effort in opening stores and localization. It also hopes to use gradual transformation to fight the long “brand fatigue period”.
But man is not as good as heaven.
In 2012, KFC fell into the “instant chicken” incident. Yum estimated that the domestic same store sales fell by 6% in the quarter.
In 2013, the bird flu epidemic hit China again, and the same store sales of KFC in China fell by 24% in that quarter; In 2014, KFC encountered the “Fuxi expired meat” incident, and Yum China’s same store revenue plunged by 14%, 16% and 14% respectively for three consecutive quarters.
Superimposed on the Sudan red incident in the early years, KFC’s performance and brand image suffered continuous critical attacks after 2012.
After each critical attack, KFC needs to spend a lot of marketing money to re attract consumers.
KFC’s big marketing era has begun.
At the end of 2013, KFC launched a large-scale marketing campaign.
The battle is called “finger sucking chicken vs. golden crispy chicken”.
Original chicken, KFC’s housekeeping item and the Pearl on the crown, without it, this brand would not exist. It is to KFC what Coca Cola is to Coca Cola and Pepsi is to Pepsi.
The crispy chicken is a new product strongly advocated by KFC. As soon as it is launched, it will fight with the original chicken and claim to replace the position of the first brother of the original chicken and fried chicken. In order to tout it, KFC even offline its original chicken in four cities.
A total of 20 million people voted in the battle. Although Chen Kun and Ke moudong were also found at that time, they basically had no sense of existence.
At that time, all I could think about was guarding the best finger sucking chicken in the world. Every time I rushed into KFC, I started with five pieces.
As a result, crispy chicken can’t shake the status of original chicken at all. Until now, this product can’t be found in many places.
After the resumption, this is completely a meal circle powder abuse operation.
Everyone thought that KFC was going to cancel the original chicken, but in fact, it had hardly changed the menu structure of KFC.
The real change is that this marketing has laid the marketing strategy of KFC.
This strategy is actually very simple, that is, traffic, traffic, or fucking traffic.
KFC first began to implement the strategy of inviting stars to speak for themselves, from Lu Han to Zitao, from Junkai to Wang Yuan, from Zhiqian to Yuchun, from Yilong to Yibo. Half of the top traffic in recent years has been picked by KFC.
Lu Han speaks for KFC products
This is also the practice of most brands in the face of aging, using stars as spokesmen to break the game. But this is not enough. As a fast food business, the exposure brought by star endorsement is unsustainable.
Zhu Yilong speaks for KFC products
The golden crispy chicken incident made KFC realize that my product is the flow itself!
If we simplify marketing to “put advertisements on poles”, KFC itself is a super pole.
You know, the number of KFC stores in China has exceeded 8100, which is the data at the end of last year.
8100 what is the concept? In such a large China, there are only five kings with more stores than KFC: Zhengxin chicken chops, Wallace, honey Snow Ice City, Jue Wei duck neck, and Shaxian snack, the king of kings.
These stores have more than 10000 stores.
Moreover, considering that the five heavenly kings mainly open small stores or stalls, and KFC is mainly large stores, KFC is almost the king of large restaurants in China.
In addition, KFC has huge online traffic.
According to the financial report of KFC parent company Yum China, they have a total of 360 million online members in China. Considering that little brother pizza hut is too difficult to play, you can think that KFC is an online product with more than 300 million users.
KFC wow member
If you combine online and offline, you will know why I say it is one of the largest power poles in China.
In my opinion, enough brands in each store are essentially electric poles. I wrote about Starbucks before, and I also mentioned why Costa can’t do anything about aobai. Starbucks pushed furuibai and pushed it all at once.
In fact, the number of electric poles in Starbucks is several times that of Costa. There are no products that can’t be fried.
Many times, not without miracles, but not strong enough.
With more than 8000 stores, it is difficult for consumers to ignore the existence of KFC. To some extent, it is also an act of pressing the head to let you see advertisements.
What new products KFC wants to launch must have the highest arrival rate. It mainly promotes quarterly single products, and the flow is at least no less than a second-line little idol.
Moreover, with KFC’s supply chain accumulated for 30 years, it’s too simple to make a few new products.
All of its snacks, hot and dry noodles, small steamed buns and other products have mature suppliers of prefabricated dishes. Even new product development is saved. Just graft the supply chain directly into KFC’s industrialized production and sales system.
Strong supply chain means you can do whatever you want.
Moreover, when these snacks are launched, how much can they earn some money and return some blood? It’s not more cost-effective than spending money on public relations manuscripts, inviting traffic stars and raising food bloggers?
If you think about this, you will understand why KFC has more and more localized snacks in recent years.
Not only more and more, unlike the fried dough sticks and baked cakes in the past, these localized snacks are obviously not to “stay in the menu”, but to brush off the shelf for a sense of existence.
The internal staff of the catering boss made a report and mentioned that there is a non external market strategy within Yum:
“Don’t create a trend, don’t be a leader, but have a keen ability to grasp the market. When a certain product or category will become a trend, follow up quickly. At the same time, with the help of the scale of thousands of stores and powerful advertising star resources, quickly crowd out the minds of customers and create the impression of the leader of the trend.”
Abbreviated to one word, it is “rub”.
KFC’s strategy to treat traffic stars is also rubbed, and its strategy to treat local snacks is also rubbed.
Especially after the epidemic, people’s concept of regional identity has been greatly strengthened, and people are more and more concerned about “where I come from”.
Just find a local food, coupled with the contrast of KFC as a foreign fast food, and take the flow password directly.
It can even flexibly launch new products to “rub hot spots”.
After the rainstorm in Henan last year, it launched a Hu spicy soup in the Henan market.
Some time ago, the topic of northeast chicken rack became hot, and it immediately followed up and launched northeast chicken rack.
Objectively speaking, as long as the social topics are in place, these snacks can become top-notch items.
Of course, KFC also ran away with these items.
KFC rarely promotes these items nationwide, but is more similar to the “seasonal limit”, that is, it launches a special product within a special time period and sells only in a specific region.
KFC limited time product juice beef burger
Once the hot spot passes and the traffic is wiped out, the product goes offline.
Anyway, it’s to pursue stimulation, so carry it out to the end.
Now, the logic of Internet redness has completely entered the gene of KFC.
But should we criticize KFC for this? I don’t think so.
For KFC, its rivals have long been McDonald’s and Burger King. In other words, these foreign fast food restaurants have long been in a trench. Their opponents are those newly emerging online Red restaurants and brands with new consumption concepts.
To say the popularity of the Internet, they are much more thorough than KFC. They were born to become a popular online brand.
Take a look at the king of inner volume milk tea next door. It has begun to launch new products every week. Naixue has more than 100 new products a year. Let’s take a look at how those net red crayfish, net red coffee and net red Chinese pastries create concepts, decorate and promote new products.
Chinese catering as a whole is moving towards flow, concept and marketing.
The general trend is so that KFC has become a little popular on the Internet.
Moreover, it has accumulated for more than 30 years, and localization has been so successful. It’s easy to make some online red single products and the whole magic modified snacks.
Just like Teng Ko Erh’s singing tiktok, would you think he was late? No, you just think: Hey, the old man is alive again.
Tengger sings calories
After KFC, its basic dish is also original chicken, which is chicken drumstick castle. McDonald’s is the same. Its basic plates are big Mac, spicy chicken wings and McNuggets.
That hasn’t changed. It’s enough for me.
It’s not the old-fashioned middle-aged people like me who are interested in online popularity.
Finally, dig a pit. If the price of spicy chicken drumstick Castle increases and shrinks again, I will consider making a phase of content, which is pure spray without any knowledge content.
Please do not hesitate to like it at that time.
reference material:
1. “KFC started selling noodles for the first time, and fast food giants are eyeing Chinese regional cuisine this time?”—— Snack generation
2. “Selling snail powder, selling fried string… Sooner or later, KFC will be forced to stir up” — internal reference of catering boss
3. “KFC’s new product” Curse “- new eyes
4. Can KFC still catch the post-95—— Value planet plante
5. KFC will also provide “beer + fried chicken” in cooperation with Tsingtao Beer – Interface news
6. What are KFC McDonald’s worried about—— Deep burning
7. “A brief history of KFC magic changed to online Red snacks” — white Business Review
8. From string to spicy soup, steamed buns and hot and dry noodles, is KFC still a foreign fast food we know—— Jiang Han’s visual field observation
9. “Hu spicy soup, steamed buns and hot and dry noodles, what else can KFC not sell?”—— Interface news
10. “After 28 years, yum group, which owns KFC and pizza hut, has made Yum China an independent company” — curiosity daily
11. How will the competition between KFC and McDonald’s escalate after “Sinicization”—— Curiosity daily
12. “KFC: Chinese evolution” — Bian Junjun

Author: IC laboratory; Source: IC Laboratory (ID: insightplusclub), reprint has been authorized. Reprint authorization and media business cooperation: Amy (wechat: 13701559246); Foodaily Expo 2022] in line with the original intention of providing the whole value chain and one-stop industrial innovation services for the industry, foodaily Expo 2022 (2022.05.31-06.02, Shanghai) is further upgraded. In addition to the upstream and downstream of the food industry, it also covers and gathers multiple resources such as e-commerce, social media, traffic, channels and capital, aiming to bring you an annual innovation feast. Here, products, content, technology, marketing and other aspects related to food & brand innovation will be presented in the form of “professional exhibition + innovative content + interactive experience”, breaking through and differentiating in the consistent form of industry exhibition.

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