Consumers in China push fast food expansion

| July 27, 2005 | 0 Comments
Consumers in China push fast food expansion

According to a United States Department of Agriculture report dated July 14 and released on Wednesday, the demand for frozen French fries in China will grow by 20 percent per year for the next five years as Western-style fast food restaurants expand in that Asian nation.

Additionally, French fries are becoming more popular on hotel menus in China, the report says. China will import 83,000 tonnes of frozen French fries in 2005, significantly higher than the 69,548 tonnes that were imported last year.

While China is increasing its own production of frozen French fries, it has not been able to keep up with the demand, said to be in excess of 100,000 tonnes. More than two-thirds of that amount are imported. Leading the expansion of the foreign presence in the fast-food sector in China, are Kentucky Fried Chicken, with 1,200 restaurants there at the end of 2004 and expectations of double digit growth.

McDonald’s has around 600 restaurants in China and is planning an aggressive campaign of expansion. According to the USDA report, the only factor that might slow down the exploding demand for French fries in China is a recent report from the World Health Organization that found the presence of a carcinogen, acrylamide, in both French fries and potato chips.

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