LOUISVILLE, Ky. – KFC China debuted a new menu and marketing strategy in an effort to re-stage the KFC brand in China.
KFC China, operated by Yum! Restaurants China, a division of Yum! Brands Inc., has faced multiple challenges to its business. The spread of H7N9 avian influenza led to weak demand for poultry. Additionally, food-safety concerns
also dogged the company. Chinese officials launched an investigation into suppliers of the KFC China stores after excessive amounts of antibiotics were found in raw chicken from two suppliers.
Sam Su, chairman and CEO, Yum! Restaurants China and vice chairman, Yum! Brands, described the restaging initiative is unprecedented in the chain's 27-year history in China. KFC China plans to release 15 new products simultaneously and intends to implement a similar menu update at least once a year.
“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,” Su 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 prepay take-out option.”
The menu update includes two new chicken sandwiches. Ten of the 15 products are new while five are re-launched versions of customer favorites, according to the company. The new menu will be launched at KFC China's 4,600 restaurants in more than 900 cities.
In an effort to reach out to consumers, KFC China enlisted two Chinese celebrities as part of a national campaign to promote Original Recipe and Extra Crispy chicken. Another four celebrities will represent the new sandwich, rice, snack, drink and dessert product lines.