SHANGHAI, Jan. 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Yum China Holdings, Inc. (the "Company" or "Yum China", NYSE: YUMC and HKEX: 9987) announced that its KFC brand is increasingly 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.
Over the years, localization has been a strategic focus for KFC’s food innovation in China, including through the introduction of Chinese breakfast products, such as congee, pancakes, rice rolls and bean curd pudding.
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 a Limited Time Offer ("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.
"China prides itself on having rich and diverse food scenes. Almost every city has its own food specialties, particularly when it comes to breakfast," said Joey Wat, CEO of Yum China. "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."
Introducing menu items that integrate elements of local Chinese food culture in different regions is helping KFC to better resonate with local customers, strengthen customer relationships and drive loyalty. 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 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.
Providing an authentic local taste is essential to the success of regional menu items. KFC has chosen to cooperate with time-honored Chinese brands when developing regional menu items, while leveraging its strong supply chain capabilities to source high quality local ingredients. 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.
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About Yum China Holdings, Inc.
Yum China Holdings, Inc. is a licensee of Yum! Brands in mainland China. It has exclusive rights in mainland China to KFC, China’s leading quick-service restaurant brand, Pizza Hut, the leading casual dining restaurant brand in China, and Taco Bell, a California-based restaurant chain serving innovative Mexican-inspired food. Yum China also owns the Little Sheep, Huang Ji Huang, East Dawning and COFFii & JOY concepts outright. In addition, Yum China has partnered with Lavazza to explore and develop the Lavazza coffee shop concept in China. The Company had 11,415 restaurants in over 1,600 cities at the end of September 2021.
In 2021, Yum China ranked # 363 on the Fortune 500 list and was named to TIME100 Most Influential Companies list. The Company was also named to the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index and was certified as a Top Employer 2021 in China by the Top Employers Institute, both for the third consecutive year. In addition, Yum China has been selected as member of both Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI): World Index and Emerging Market Index. For more information, please visit http://ir.yumchina.com.