The BBC released a fantastic article about the Japanese love affair with KFC at Christmas. Although I’d heard about it before, I thought it was some urban myth….boy was I wrong. December is a busy month for KFC in Japan – daily sales at some restaurants during the Christmas period can be 10 times their usual take. Getting the KFC special Christmas dinner often requires ordering it weeks in advance, and those who didn’t will wait in line, sometimes for hours. Every Christmas season an estimated 3.6 million Japanese families treat themselves to fried chicken from the American fast-food chain, in what has become a nationwide tradition.
The genesis of Japan’s KFC tradition is a tale of corporate promotion that any business heading to Japan ought to study, one that sounds almost like a holiday parable. According to KFC Japan spokeswoman Motoichi Nakatani, it started thanks to Takeshi Okawara, the manager of the first KFC in the country. Shortly after it opened in 1970, Okawara woke up at midnight and jotted down an idea that came to him in a dream: a “party barrel” to be sold on Christmas. It sold like hot cakes (or chicken!)
For the full story from the BBC click here. I bet by the end of it, you’ll be hungry!