China Loses Taste for Fast Food

Chinese revert to cheaper, healthier options amid recession
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Feb 12, 2009 4:25 PM CST
KFC has enjoyed its growth in China, where the brand is perceived as cleaner than local diners. But the recession indicates trouble may be on the way.   (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
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(Newser) – The dollar menu thrives when times are tough in the US, but in China—where Western fast food is no bargain—the American chains are facing tough competition. Price is the main sticking point, but not the only one. "It's fast food," one diner in Shanghai told the LA Times; "it's not good for you"

China's KFC and Pizza Hut outlets saw just 1% growth last quarter, down from 17% a year earlier. But it's too early to bail on the increasingly affluent Chinese economy. Though McDonald's acknowledged what an exec called "some softening at the latter part of 2008," the company plans to open 175 stores this year, bringing its total to 1,225.