Is It American Food in China, or Chinese food with an American branding?
Does American Food in China, such as Pizza Hut and KFC, taste similar to their Western counterparts? The answer will always depend on who you ask, but there certainly is a strong difference in taste between the fast food in America and fast food in China, and the American food companies have tried to add more appropriate traditional Chinese foods and flavours to their menu.
Who are the American Fast Food Giants in China?
American fast foods have made a major impact on the food in China, and nearly every city in the country has at least one KFC or Pizza Hut. It is a favorite for the kids and adults. Although Western food is popular amongst Chinese people and liked for its high-end quality restaurants and services, the introduction of Pizza Hut and KFC has had a marked impact on what sort of Western foods Chinese people eat most regularly.
In the food industry, it is essential to keep an eye on the feedback of the customers so that you can improve the product and generate more sales. It is also important to adopt the culture of the country and understand the requirements of local people, to be able to adapt the taste of the food somewhat. In that sense, any type of American Food in China looking to exploit the fast food market has had to adjust their menus. Pizza Hut and KFC have gone down that route based on research, to cater for their market in China, and for greater financial dividends.
America’s KFC sell food that is suited to local taste in the China’s market. It also serves the traditional local food like a bowl of the congee, a rice porridge, that often include pickles, pork, mushrooms, as well as preserved egg, while still offering buckets of its famous fried chicken, along with fried crullers or sesame flatbread for dipping. In KFC, you can order the seasonal vegetables with your chicken, lotus root in summer and bamboo shoots in spring instead of coleslaw. These have all been researched and modified to taste more like what the locals are used to eating in China. They have in short become, American food in China.
For many years, the recipes of Pizza remained the same in global stores, but nowadays exceptions are made according to local tastes and markets. In the process, Pizza Hut has invented some interesting recipes for its customers – like burger spaghetti and garlic snails… Pizza Hut in China offers its clients varieties of different flavors. They also still provide, though, the low margin high volume delivery to the customers.
Quality and Hygiene More Important than Quantity?
Western companies are doing well in China as a result of the quality of their food and their attention to food safety. Some people think that it’s great to have a global brand in the country, which gives them the opportunity to explore different foods, but there are others who think that Western companies are diluting their heritage, by promoting unhealthier Western diets.
Chinese KFC offers the dragon twister, spicy tofu, chicken rice and chicken wrap in Peking duck sauce. They have gained a reputation for making some of the hottest Chinese dishes, by including more flavors and spices. That has helped the company gain popularity in China.
Which Is Better?
In fact, some would now argue that KFC in China is tastier than KFC in America, but there are still those who feel that KFC chickens are of low quality compared to local dishes. Further, they fear that Western companies like KFC are damaging the local food market and taste, which is their heritage. However perhaps American Food in China is more Chinese than it is American now.
Likewise, some think that Pizza Hut is much better in China than in the US. That’s because they feel that Pizza Hut in China offers a greater variety of foods and flavors, and not just calorie filled meat buckets which come with stringent hygiene standards. Again, though, there are people who think that China’s version of the Pizza is disgusting – with its strange toppings.
What is the Bottom Line?
China offers fantastic business opportunities for food places devoted to high hygiene standards. However people also tend to prefer food that is close in taste to what they are used to, so KFC and Pizza have been forced to come up with some ethnic foods for their Chinese market; essentially they have had to create what can be termed as American food in China.
Having said all of the above, the proof is in the pudding as the Brits would say, so when in China, be adventurous, try as much food as you can within reason and your safety in mind.