Why KFC Is So Successful in China

Here in North America, finding a KFC restaurant seems like a treasure hunt. But if you go to China, there are more KFCs than the famous golden arches. When I first came to Canada from China, it was, ironically, somewhat of a cultural shock at the lack of KFC restaurants here. I mean, I was expecting the food here would be even better than China! How disappointing 🙁 So what made KFC more popular than McDonalds in China? Infobarrel published an article on KFC’s marketing success and I agree very much with its points.


KFC adapted to its local market and tailored its menu to the Chinese consumers by offering more than just the famous Kentucky fried chicken. Their menu items are capable of luring Chinese consumers to eat at KFC for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea/snack, dinner, and late-night snack. And this is not an exaggeration. Here are a small food feast for your eyes. Remember theses are in addition to the regular KFC burgers, chicken wings/drumsticks, popcorn chicken, and side dishes.

different types of rice congee

shaobing (layered crisp flatbread) sandwich

KFC lunch meals tailored for China

dinner meals: complete with soup, meat, vegetables, and rice

dessert time

KFC snacks and drinks; includes bubble tea!

Not only do their food items specifically target the Chinese market, they are also targeting an older audience, as mentioned in the article. Fast foods are not only for children, but for adults as well. Don’t the food options look healthier than just a normal burger meal as well? We can see that KFC in China is targeting those with a busy lifestyle who have no time to cook but still wants to enjoy a healthy, home style meal.

Targeting and Positioning:

Through their products, we can see that KFC uses differentiated targeting strategy to target both children and adults. Unlike the KFC’s in North America, however, KFC is everywhere in China as Starbucks is everywhere in Seattle. It’s so conveniently located, it makes it possible for you to enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner at KFC.

Different from McDonalds, KFC in China positions itself as the fast food restaurant that not only offers delicious famous Kentucky chicken and burgers, but also healthy home style Chinese meals that makes consumers feel right at home.

From these, it’s evident that KFC’s successful adaptation to the Chinese culture is the main driving force behind its marketing success in China.




2 thoughts on “Why KFC Is So Successful in China

  1. I agree that KFC has the upper hand because it offers “healthy home style Chinese meals.” I enjoyed this description because I think it is completely accurate- not only can customers get a taste of the West, but they also can order something familiar from the Chinese menu. Each Chinese region and province has it’s own cuisine, so I’m interested if KFC localizes the menu based on the region in China?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *