KFC for Christmas? How the fast-food chain became a holiday hit in Japan

KFC for Christmas? How the fast-food chain became a holiday hit in Japan

Kentucky Fried Rooster has turn into a huge strike in Japan in the course of the Xmas season, with traces wrapping about the corner and creating great gross sales. Japanese YouTuber Yoko Ishii gave Fox Information a glimpse inside of how the quickly-meals chain turned a holiday phenomenon above the previous 50 a long time.  

KFC Japan documents its optimum annual income figures through the operate-up to Xmas, with Dec. 24 serving as the chain’s “busiest day of the year — 10 occasions busier than KFC Japan’s once-a-year average,” according to the company’s website. Ishii said both of those she and her husband have independently witnessed the substantial lines in their hometown of Fukuoka.

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“I was going for walks home, and I saw KFC inside of of the massive [train] station nearby, and I saw the line,” Ishii informed Fox News. “I was wondering, ‘What’s happening?’”

“I realized that they had been lined up for Kentucky for Xmas,” she claimed.

The U.S.-dependent KFC restaurant chain began functioning in Japan in 1970 and released its first Xmas-themed internet marketing marketing campaign there 4 yrs later on.

A statue of KFC's Colonel Sanders in a Santa outfit is seen in Tokyo, Japan, on Dec. 23, 2020

A statue of KFC’s Colonel Sanders in a Santa outfit is found in Tokyo, Japan, on Dec. 23, 2020
(Yuichi Yamazaki/Getty Visuals)

Ishii explained she was common with the Kentucky for Xmas slogan as she grew up hearing it marketed on Tv. The campaign’s origin traces to an unidentified foreigner who visited a KFC restaurant in Tokyo on Xmas Day sometime in the early 1970s, according to KFC’s web site.

“I simply cannot get turkey in Japan, so I have no preference but to rejoice Christmas with Kentucky Fried Hen,” the consumer remarked, in accordance to KFC’s account. “A team member on the KFC Japan gross sales workforce overheard the remark and employed it as inspiration to start the to start with Christmas marketing campaign and its tagline — Kentucky for Christmas.”


KFC Japan’s first Xmas supper consisted of a bucket — identified as a “barrel” in Japan — of fried hen and a bottle of wine, along with a recommendation that the food be appreciated at a getaway celebration, according to KFC’s web-site.

Because then, the annual Xmas food promotions have expanded. Lots of Japanese position Xmas orders with KFC months in progress, as the traces at dining places on the actual getaway generally spill on to city streets.

People line up in front of a KFC on Dec. 23, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan.

People today line up in front of a KFC on Dec. 23, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan.
(Yuichi Yamazaki/Getty Pictures)

KFC Japan raked in about 7.1 billion yen in 2019 (about $53 million in existing U.S. pounds), in accordance to Shared Investigate.

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Many Japanese individuals have embraced commercial aspects of Xmas, even though only about 1% of the inhabitants is Christian. Ishii stated the Japanese’s willingness to assimilate foreign festivities into their life has pushed Kentucky for Christmas’ accomplishment. 

“I guess that we’re just delighted individuals celebrating all the things that we can,” she instructed Fox Information.

To understand a lot more about how KFC set up an enduring Xmas advertising marketing campaign in Japan, simply click listed here.