What better way to spend Christmas than eating fried chicken and strawberry shortcake? While it may not be exactly traditional from a Westerner’s point of view, that’s the way they do it in Japan, especially if the chicken is from good ol’ American fast food restaurant, Kentucky Fried Chicken. It’s so popular, in fact, that placing orders for Christmas chicken ahead of time is highly recommended, especially if you want a special box, because they might not have any left if you go in on the day.
With it being tradition to eat KFC on Christmas, it’s no wonder that KFC Japan’s sales between December 23 and 25 are calculated to be over 6 billion yen.
That’s the equivalent of about 24 million pieces, enough for every person in Tokyo to have two and a half pieces. Perhaps the only equivalent might be turkey sales during U.S. Thanksgiving, but KFC is a fast food chain, not a whole industry, and Japan is a much smaller country than the U.S., so it’s amazing that a single company could have such high numbers over such a short time span.
This year’s sales are also 1.4 percent more than last year’s, and the highest ever recorded for a Christmas season. The company estimates that it’s because of their promotional campaign, which was composed of a cheery, Christmassy TV commercial featuring a song written exclusively for the campaign by famous songstress Mariya Takeuchi. They also believe it’s because they opened both online and in-store reservations as early as November 1, offering five different Christmas Packs and three different Party Barrels, including chicken that wouldn’t smell too strongly on the train and bother other passengers, so that no one would miss out on the delicious tradition. They sure do have the advantage of variety (and consideration).
The fast food giant’s success at Christmas could also be due to the fact that it’s simply an increasingly popular tradition. What’s Christmas without KFC? Besides, their constant stream of great offers throughout the year, like all-you-can-drink deals for 1,000 yen, wholesome deli takeout, and yummy character-inspired desserts may have helped boost their image, making everyone crave KFC every day. And let’s not forget their delightful KFC seasoning bath salts.
Whatever the case, it seems like KFC is doing something right. Somehow they’ve managed to maintain dominance on the fried and grilled chicken market, making them almost the sole provider of a Chicken Christmas.
Source: KFC Holdings, Japan
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