KFC Takes Aim at African Market


Yum Brands Inc, (YUM) owner of the KFC and Pizza Hut brands, is taking aim at the fast-growing African market for fast food.

The company, based in Louisville, Ky, plans to double the number of KFC restaurants in Africa to 1,200 by 2014, The Wall Street Journal said. It hopes to double its revenue from the continent to $2 billion over the next four years.

"Africa wasn't even on our radar screen 10 years ago, but now we see it exploding with opportunity," said David Novak, CEO of Yum Brands.

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Yum is no stranger to Africa: it opened its first KFC in South Africa in 1971. Now the company is branching out to countries including Nigeria, Ghana and Zambia to tap into rising urbanization and improvements in infrastructure.

"People are now focusing on the emerging world, with a bit of a gold rush going on," said Graham Allan, CEO Yum Restaurants International.

KFC has overtaken McDonald's (MCD) in the South African market, with more than 600 restaurants. The menus are largely the same as in other markets, though with fewer sandwiches and nuggets.

"Africans are wary of processed food," says Keith Warren, general manager of Yum's Africa business. "They want chicken on the bone."