KFC plans menu overhaul in China
Yum Brands' chicken chain hopes to overhaul its image amid consumer concerns about food safety.
By Burke Speaker
Fast-food restaurant company Yum Brands (YUM) is pushing a KFC makeover in China following a 2012 food scare that moved customers away from the fried-chicken chain.
The overhaul will involve a revamped menu, Chinese celebs to tout the chain, and redesigned store and packaging -- all with the hope of boosting revenues at Chinese restaurants that dropped 4 percent during the fourth quarter last year.
The fallout came about after state media reported that KFC chicken were fed excess antibiotics -- with food-safety advocates raising concerns about the health effects.
Yum is the largest fast-food chain in China -- with some 6,200 stores. However, the company has seen its market share remain placid over the past five years (at 41.2 percent in 2012, according to research firm Euromonitor).
Last month, the company -- which operates KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell restaurant chains -- posted fourth-quarter earnings that topped analysts forecasts. Earlier this month, YUM improved after an R.W. Baird research note changing its rating from "neutral" to "outperform."
Still, YUM is down roughly 2 percent year-to-date.
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The company is lowering its soda machine projections for the second half of the year, however.
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