Franchises have changed the way America works. Now we are seeing signs that American franchises have profoundly changed the way the world eats.
Now, we know that QSR franchises have enjoyed huge success worldwide in the last 25 years, primarily in Asia. But we primarily grasp that success in terms of units, stores or profits. But some startling statistics have appeared which show just how dramatically food tastes have changed in China and India because of food franchises.
A fascinating article on BNET.com quotes statistics from the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture which show that people in urban China have increased their chicken consumption by about 219% between 1983 and 2006. Within those years, residents of Chinese cities have much more disposable income, but this huge spike in chicken eating in China coincides with the arrival of KFC in Asia.
To me, this is an extraordinary anthropological development. Chinese cuisine, as BNET reports, has for centuries been pork-based. KFC has help put chicken onto the menus and into the minds of Chinese people and now this is a hugely popular food there. And as we’ve written before, it’s not just China where food habits are changing. From India to Japan, western food franchises have caused a change in global appetites.