Dec 12, 2010

Around the World - McDonald's Challenges KFC's Christmas Supremacy in Japan

Through some sort of marketing magic, back in the '70s, KFC managed to convince the Japanese that Christmas means chicken (because turkey is hard to find in Japan). KFC chicken to be precise. Fast forward 40 years later and many a Japanese family pre-orders their Christmas dinners at KFC and wait in line on Christmas Day to pick it up.

But this year, there is a challenger for KFC's Christmas supremacy. McDonald's is hawking their own Christmas-themed chicken dinner this year in the iCon'BOX (that's how they're spelling it) for 1780 yen (~$21.16) undercutting KFC and vying to get their own claws (so to speak) in Japan's Christmas celebration.

The iCon'BOX is a custom Christmas-themed box filled with three different forms of McDonald's fried chicken (two orders of each for a total of six orders): Chicken McNuggets, Shaka Shaka Chicken, and Juicy Chicken Selects (or as they call it "Jushichikinserekuto" which is made of chicken thighs instead of white meat in Japan). In addition to the chicken, there's also a giant "Mega" order of fries and three Food Straps which are basically little McDonald's keepsakes that Japanese people seem to like to strap to their phones.
Of course KFC, having been in the Japanese Christmas game for much longer, has several options for families during Christmas. The major one has to be the Party Barrel (sound fun, no?) which includes your choice of chicken (either 8 pieces of fried chicken or 4 pieces and some garlic and soy seasoned chicken strips), a Caesar salad, a delicious looking chocolate mousse cake with what appears to be a chocolate ganache icing, and a commemorative KFC holiday plate for 3880 yen (~$46.12).
The top of the heap and probably the most interesting Christmas meal for us in the States has got to be the Roasted Chicken. I wonder if it tastes like a roast chicken with the Colonel's secret recipe? It costs 5600 yen (~$66.56).
Most similar to McDonald's offering is KFC's Christmas Pack which comes in a variety of different combinations but mainly featuring the Colonel's chicken , chicken nuggets, chicken strips, and seasoned baked chicken. Prices range from 2300 yen (~$27.34) to 3450 yen (~$41.01) which still costs a little more than McDonald's Christmas offering.

For individuals and couples, KFC also has smaller offerings that are just smaller versions of the family meal. They also have their own apple cider (I think... Not sure can't read Japanese) a la carte.

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