It sounds incredible but Chinese are now more likely to eat takeout food than Americans, who can be regarded as founders of fast food industry. The survey showed that 41 percent of respondents in China visit fast food restaurants at least once a week, while in the United States this number is approximately 35 percent and in Europe - 11 percent. Chinese fast food is especially popular in Hong Kong, where it is consumed by 61 percent of residents.
Many years have passed since the first McDonald's outlet opened in China. 40,000 people gathered to taste Big Mac and look at Ronald McDonald. Today there are more than 600,000 McDonald's restaurants in 105 Chinese cities. The enterprise plans to add 100 more next year. Kentucky Fried Chicken now operates 1,200 shops in China. More than 250 new outlets opened this year and the company plans to add even more in future.
Such major brands as McDonald's and Kentucky Fried Chicken are extremely successful in a $49 billion-a-year Chinese fast food industry. The sales in Chinese fast food restaurants are growing faster than in the United States. The items on the menu are classical, but there are also some additional options, which reflect the peculiarities of the national cuisine. For example McDonald's offers to its Chinese customers pork burgers and red-bean-paste ice cream sundaes.
It's not the price, which attracts Chinese customers the most. There are many less expensive alternatives to the McDonald's or Kentucky Fried Chicken. Among the reasons why Chinese do not give their preference to the Chinese restaurants is the big difference between the menus in these restaurants, so that you must know where you are and what to order.
With the development of fast food industry in China its population faced the same problems as other countries did. Chinese fast food is now considered to be the main culprit of growing obesity and many diseases. Over 200 million Chinese are overweight. The fast food is viewed as a contributor to raising rates of high blood pressure and diabetes. There are aggressive marketing campaigns, aimed at attracting more customers especially among children. Trying to win more clients on their side, fast food establishments improve their service and conditions, creating the image of a friendly family restaurant.
It should be mentioned that there is such a phenomenon as an American Chinese cuisine, which is served by Chinese restaurants in the United States. The food is modified for American tastes. Today Chinese cuisine prevails in major American cities like New York and San Francisco. The food is usually cooked very quickly with a large amount of oil and salt. The majority of Chinese American restaurants provide service to non-Chinese clients with the menus often written in English. Among the most popular fast food menu items are fried rice dishes, Chinese chicken salad, fortune cookie and Chinese spring rolls. Chinese cuisine has exotic ingredients like Portobello mushrooms, asparagus, brown rice, mangoes.