Friday, January 21, 2022

Technology Empowers KFC to Think Big act Small


Data matters.  Technology had changed how food marketers evolve the brand.  Companies that elevate data’s importance are also edifying the technology they use to garner that data according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.

Let’s look at an example using Yum China.  They recently announced that its KFC brand is tapping into regional Chinese cuisines and adding traditional local dishes to its menu. In 2021, to support further market penetration and meet the diversified needs of Chinese consumers, KFC launched 12 regionally inspired menu items across dayparts and introduced regional menu items for the first time.  Garnering local data from not traditional sources can drive top-line sales and bottom-line profits. Decentralization of a chains menu works, and drives incremental brand value.

So, in January 2021, KFC launched hot dry noodles at more than 100 stores in Wuhan, making it the first noodle product since entering China. In September 2021, after launching a series of locally inspired snacks in different cities, hot dry noodles became the first regional menu item to launch at KFC stores nationwide as an LTO. Over 1 million bowls of hot dry noodles were sold within a week of launching, becoming KFC's best performing LTO breakfast item in the past three years. What are, your customer eating when they are not eating at your restaurant?  What technology can you deploy to garnering customer insights?

Joey Wat, CEO of Yum China, stated, "China prides itself on having rich and diverse food scenes. Almost every city has its own food specialties, particularly when it comes to breakfast,". "Launching regional menu items is part of our strategy to relentlessly pursue food innovation, which helps us respond to fast-changing consumer demands and keep up with the latest trends."

Once again customers are dynamic not static and edifying your brand with technology can drive positive change while edifying customer relevance. Get this, including the launch of hot dry noodles in January 2021, 12 locally inspired menu items were launched in 10 regional markets during the year, covering breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner dayparts.

The regional breakfast products, including hot dry noodles, xiaolongbao (steamed dumplings) and hulatang (hot pepper soup) have been well received by customers, the company said. The launch of xiaolongbao in Hangzhou was expanded to Shanghai and other cities in the Yangtze River Delta region, generating positive feedback from customers. Hot dry noodles and xiaolongbao have since become permanent fixtures on KFC's breakfast menus in Wuhan and Hangzhou, respectively.

So, selected regional menu items have been added to KFC's retail product portfolio, available both in stores and via online channels. In September 2021, hot dry noodles, hulatang and yanpi wonton were launched locally via KFC's retail channels, including the KFC Super App, and e-commerce stores. If KFC and do it so can you.  Do you need help? Think big with brand building menus while driving brand value in local markets. 

Invite Foodservice Solutions® to complete a Grocerant ScoreCard, or for product positioning or placement assistance, or call our Grocerant Guru®.  Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. Contact: or 253-759-7869

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