Did you know eating KFC during Christmas has been Japan's tradition for decades? Here's how

Did you know eating KFC during Christmas has been Japan's tradition for decades? Here's how

Here is the story of 'Kentucky for Christmas' becoming a nationwide phenomenon in Japan

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Saturday, December 24, 2022, 10:04 PM IST
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Did you know eating KFC during Christmas has been Japan's tradition for decades? Here's how | FPJ

In Japan, December 24 is the day when KFC sells about five to 10 times more than other days of the year. Japan doesn't have many Christians, so the Christmas isn't a big festival nor it is a national holiday here. KFC opened its first outlet in Japan in 1970 and in the next eleven years, they had 324 stores around the country.

KFC popularity during Christmas skyrocketed with its 'Kentucky for Christmas' marketing campaign in 1974. Back then, a man called Takeshi Okawara managed the country's first KFC. He went on to become CEO of KFS Japan.

The global KFC website, in 2020, published an article to explain that the original idea for the campaign came from a foreign customer who had visited a KFS outlet in Tokyo on Christmas day and complained about the lack of Turkey. This gave him a business idea.

"I can't get the turkey in Japan, so I have no choice but to celebrate Christmas with Kentucky Fried Chicken," the man had said. It is said that a team member of KFC Japan sales team overheard the remark. This was all that Okawara needed to think of as a Christmas dish in Japan. He eventually conceived the idea for a 'party barrel' to feed customers something special on Christmas.

After the scheme took off in 1974, 'Kentucky for Christmas' became a nationwide phenomenon.

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