LOUISVILLE, KY, March 26, 2014 – KFC China (operated by Yum! Restaurants China, a division of Yum! Brands, Inc., NYSE: YUM) today 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 restage of the KFC brand in China.
“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,” said Sam Su, Chairman and CEO, Yum! Restaurants China and Vice Chairman, Yum! Brands. “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 favorites.
“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,” said Su. “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 favorite 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 Tuesday, April 22, 2014, after market hours.
KFC was named the number one foreign brand in China in a 2013 report published by the BBC. The Company opened 428 new KFCs in China in 2013 and has nearly 4,600 KFCs in over 900 cities throughout the country, which is more than twice the size of its nearest competitor. KFC also has the largest home delivery business in China, with 70 percent of delivery orders being placed online.
Yum! Brands is the largest and fastest growing retail developer in China with more than 6,200 KFC, Pizza Hut Casual Dining, Pizza Hut Home Service, East Dawning and Little Sheep restaurants in over 900 cities. Yum! opened 740 new units in China in 2013 and expects to open at least 700 new units in 2014. The growth of the Company’s category-leading brands in China is driven by an experienced local management team, highly educated workforce, unmatched real estate and development team, country-wide distribution system, best-in-class operations and dedication to innovation and product quality.
Yum! Brands, Inc., based in Louisville, Kentucky, has over 40,000 restaurants in more than 125 countries and territories. Yum! is ranked #201 on the Fortune 500 List with revenues of over $13 billion and in 2013 was named among the top 100 Corporate Citizens by Corporate Responsibility Magazine. The Company’s restaurant brands – KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell – are the global leaders of the chicken, pizza and Mexican-style food categories. Outside the United States, the Yum! Brands system opened over five new restaurants per day, making it a leader in international retail development.