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Kyiv Post: KFC coming soon to Kyiv
2 March 2012
The Colonel’s chicken is coming to Ukraine.

That is, the world’s third largest fast-food restaurant chain known as Kentucky Fried Chicken, or now simply KFC, an iconic brand for decades in America.

A person close to the deal told the Kyiv Post that the American fried chicken purveyor could through franchising arrangements open a restaurant in Kyiv as early as this year, but not before the Euro 2012 soccer championship kicks off on June 8.

“It’s not a question of ‘if,’ it’s a question of ‘when’,” the source said, asking anonymity because he is not authorized to speak on the situation. “There’s one more formality before restaurant location development can commence with an eye to opening the first units this year.”

A spokesperson for Yum! Brands – the company to which KFC belongs as well as other fast food chains such as Taco Bell and Pizza Hut – in Moscow didn’t deny the market entry move is imminent. The Moscow office of Yum! Brands reportedly is overseeing the restaurant’s foray into Ukraine.

“We cannot confirm any deals but officially say that we are open to having more partners (in the former Soviet Union),” said Illya Politkovsky, external communications director for Yum! Restaurants International Russia & CIS [Commonwealth of Independent States.]

The company official added that KFC restaurants in Ukraine would use a multi-franchising ownership structure and that the main features of the KFC Russian menu will be offered to Ukrainian customers. Politkovsky added that refrigerated chicken, not frozen, will be exclusively used.

KFC’s Russian website lists classical buckets of chicken legs and wings, chicken strips, sandwiches and wraps. Unlike U.S.-based KFC outlets, the Russian menu offers chicken shish kabobs, beer and Belgian waffles as a dessert option, among other region-specific items.

Industry insiders told the Kyiv Post that Ukrainian poultry giant MHP is the only domestic company capable of providing custom cuts and marinated chicken to meet KFC’s requirements.

A senior executive at MHP declined to discuss possible cooperation with KFC when reached by telephone on Feb. 29.

Listed on the London Stock Exchange, MHP accounted for some 50 percent of Ukraine’s industrially produced chicken in 2011. Sales of chicken meat and related products represent around 80 percent of the company’s annual revenues.

The minimum financial requirement to open a KFC outlet in the U.S., according to the company’s website, is $1.5 million net worth and $750,000 in liquid assets. The website added that financial requirements vary country to country.

According to market researcher GFK Ukraine’s Khlib Vyshlynsky, McDonald’s, Puzata Khata and Celentano’s are the top three quick service restaurant chains in Ukraine. McDonald’s has expanded with lightening speed since its first restaurant opened in Kyiv on May 24, 1997, investing more than $150 million into 71 outlets in 21 cities.

McDonald’s is the only leading global fast food giant to have established a sizable presence in Ukraine, but competitors, such as Domino’s Pizza have made inroads in the past year.

KFC was founded by Kentucky resident Harland Sanders in 1952. Sanders was named an honorary Kentucky Colonel in 1936 by that state’s Governor Ruby Laffoon in recognition of his contribution to the state’s cuisine.

Based in Louisville, Kentucky, KFC has more than 15,000 restaurants in over 109 countries and territories worldwide, according to Yum! Brands’ website.

Source: Kyiv Post

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