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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

KFC faces boycott in China over food waste concerns

Promising a toy, KFC launched the meal promotion, with the China Consumers Association alleging that it sent customers into a buying spree

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |
January 14, 2022 8:50:00 pm
fast food restaurant chain KFC, KFC in China, KFC news, KFC boycott in China, why there is a call for KFC boycott in China, is there KFC in China, indian express newsThe promotion allowed customers to collect limited-edition wide-eyed Dimoo toy dolls with select KFC orders. (Photo: Reuters)

American fast food restaurant chain KFC is facing a boycott in China after a Chinese consumer group alleged that it is encouraging food waste.

According to a BBC report, KFC recently launched the promotion of a meal along with PopMart — a toy maker that is known for its ‘mystery boxes’ — and the China Consumers Association (CCA) alleged that it sent customers in the country into a buying spree.

As part of the celebrations of the food chain’s 35th anniversary of the opening of its first ever restaurant in China, the promotion allowed customers to collect limited-edition wide-eyed Dimoo toy dolls with select KFC orders.

The CCA issued an official statement, which read, “The Dimoo co-branded Blind Box Package…has aroused consumers’ panic buying and widespread social concern. According to the sales rules of this blind box package, in order to collect the entire set of dolls, at least 6 packages need to be purchased, and the probability of occurrence of rare hidden items is 1:72 . To this end, some consumers did not hesitate to spend 10,494 yuan [INR 1,22,453] to buy 106 sets of meals at one time.”

It also alleged that some consumers bought “eat-for-you” services and “hired someone to buy a meal-for-you package to get a blind box” and the toy, discarding the uneaten food.

KFC, as a food operator, uses the limited-edition blind box sales method to induce and condone consumers’ irrational and excessive purchase of food packages”, which is “contrary to public order, good customs and the spirit of the law”, the organisation stated.

“‘Marketing’ means to stimulate consumption, which can easily lead to impulsive consumption of consumers in order to obtain limited-edition blind boxes, and cause unnecessary food waste due to excessive purchases,” it continued.

The BBC report states that in 2020, a major campaign against food waste was launched and spearheaded by President Xi Jinping. Called the ‘Clean Plate Campaign’ — which was launched amid concerns about food security in the initial stages of the pandemic — he had termed the amount of food waste “shocking and distressing”.

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