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

Kentucky Fried Rooster has turn into a large strike in Japan in the course of the Christmas year, with traces wrapping all-around the corner and making enormous income. Japanese YouTuber Yoko Ishii gave Fox News a glimpse within how the fast-foodstuff chain became a getaway phenomenon more than the past 50 decades.  

KFC Japan records its greatest annual income figures for the duration of the operate-up to Xmas, with Dec. 24 serving as the chain’s “busiest day of the yr — 10 periods busier than KFC Japan’s annual regular,” in accordance to the company’s web site. Ishii mentioned equally she and her husband have independently witnessed the huge lines in their hometown of Fukuoka.

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“I was strolling property, and I noticed KFC within of the huge [train] station nearby, and I noticed the line,” Ishii explained to Fox Information. “I was wanting to know, ‘What’s happening?’”

“I understood that they were being lined up for Kentucky for Xmas,” she stated.

The U.S.-centered KFC cafe chain started running in Japan in 1970 and launched its 1st Christmas-themed marketing campaign there 4 many years 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 witnessed in Tokyo, Japan, on Dec. 23, 2020
(Yuichi Yamazaki/Getty Photographs)

Ishii explained she was familiar with the Kentucky for Christmas slogan as she grew up listening to it marketed on Tv set. The campaign’s origin traces to an unidentified foreigner who frequented a KFC restaurant in Tokyo on Xmas Day someday in the early 1970s, in accordance to KFC’s web page.

“I can’t get turkey in Japan, so I have no preference but to rejoice Xmas with Kentucky Fried Hen,” the consumer remarked, according to KFC’s account. “A group member on the KFC Japan profits crew overheard the remark and employed it as inspiration to launch the 1st Christmas marketing campaign and its tagline — Kentucky for Xmas.”


KFC Japan’s very first Xmas evening meal consisted of a bucket — recognised as a “barrel” in Japan — of fried rooster and a bottle of wine, together with a suggestion that the meal be relished at a getaway social gathering, according to KFC’s site.

Considering the fact that then, the once-a-year Christmas food promotions have expanded. Numerous Japanese position Christmas orders with KFC months in progress, as the traces at eating places on the actual vacation usually spill onto town streets.

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

Folks line up in entrance of a KFC on Dec. 23, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan.
(Yuichi Yamazaki/Getty Photos)

KFC Japan raked in about 7.1 billion yen in 2019 (about $53 million in present-day U.S. bucks), in accordance to Shared Study.

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Numerous Japanese persons have embraced professional features of Xmas, even nevertheless only about 1% of the population is Christian. Ishii explained the Japanese’s willingness to assimilate foreign festivities into their lives has driven Kentucky for Christmas’ achievement. 

“I guess that we’re just delighted individuals celebrating every little thing that we can,” she instructed Fox News.

To master extra about how KFC recognized an enduring Xmas advertising marketing campaign in Japan, click on right here.

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