China’s KFC announced what looked like an April Fool’s Day joke on its official Weibo account on Oct. 13: the establishment of a new brand KaiFengCai. The news is not a joke, but true.
KaiFengCai comes from a Chinese joke with a history of at least 20 years. When most people don’t understand what the three letters of KFC stand for, some people joke that they mean “KaiFengCai” in Chinese. Kaifeng is an ancient city with a long history in China. KaiFengCai means “local food in Kaifeng”. It is very interesting to combine modern, Western food with ancient, Chinese food through the name KFC.
But now KaiFengCai has come true. Although KFC’s new brand does not sell “Kaifeng local food”, it does include many Chinese food categories. This is a convenient fast food brand, on the one hand, aiming at the lazy economy and one-person food economy in the normal period of the epidemic, providing convenient fast food for Chinese young consumers, and on the other hand, it is an innovative attempt of brand localization in China.
With spreading of the COVID-19 epidemic, China’s future economic development is facing more uncertainties. On the other hand, the level of China’s food industry is increasing day by day, and there are more and more healthier and more delicious convenience foods, which makes Chinese convenience foods begin a new round of growth. In “The Rise of Chinese style Instant Foods”, we describe this phenomenon.
KAIFENGCAI series products are fast-cooked prepackaged food developed to meet the needs of young Chinese consumers. The first season products will include chicken breast, chicken soup, chicken Luosifen and so on. Luosifen is China’s “Internet celebrity food”. Our article “Luosifen, Li Ziqi’s favourite snack is ready to meet the world” about Luosifen, can help you learn more.
According to Yum China’s plan, these products are already on the market in some KFC restaurants in 23 cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and so on. Chicken breast will be on sale on October 12, chicken soup series will be on sale on October 19, and snail powder series will be on sale on October 26. At present, the sales channels are mainly concentrated in KFC App, Wechat official account and Mini Program, as well as some stores, and other channels may be opened for sale in the future.
For China’s KFC, on the one hand, its localization attempt has never stopped and has accelerated greatly in recent years, which has even led the Chinese to joke that “KFC is a Chinese restaurant”. On the other hand, its store sales growth is still under pressure, the introduction of convenience food is a new attempt to bring growth.