A Chinese consumer rights group on Wednesday slammed US-owned fast food chain KFC, claiming it encouraged a “buying frenzy” with its promotions.
China Consumer Association (CCA) urged the public to boycott a meal promotion by Yum China-operated restaurants, which it said wasted food and caused impulsive purchases.
KFC launched the promotion last week with Pop Mart, a Chinese toy maker known for its mystery boxes, which allowed customers to collect limited edition versions of large-eyed and round-faced Dimoo toy dolls when buying certain KFC meals.
“In order to collect the entire set of dolls, at least six packages need to be purchased and the probability of occurrence of rare hidden items is 1 in 72.”
KFC China Promotion Offer
CCA said some consumers spent 10,494 yuan to buy 106 sets of meals at one time that they had no intention of eating. Other people paid others to purchase meals for them, or just threw them away, the association said.
KFC launched the promotion to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the opening of its first outlet on the Chinese mainland. The mystery boxes are popular with younger customers.
The promotion could fall foul of a major campaign against food wastage launched in 2020, amid growing worries about food security during the Covid-19 pandemic.
China banned social media personalities from binge eating and urged diners not to order more than they can eat.
“It is understandable that normal promotions will not only increase the sales of merchants, but also benefit consumers,” CCA said. “However, as a catering company, KFC operates fast-food products that are limited-use products.”
- George Russell