KFC is a global food brand that has become popular for its chicken-based offerings for non vegetarians. It has a unique
image because of its history and tradition and its specialized recipes, that have been a closely guarded trade secret for
years. KFC, an American brand re-entered India and became a hit with the non vegetarian masses of the country.
While the brand has become a preferred alternative due to its marketing and reach, its positioning (and reputation), has
kept the vegetarian consumers largely away. Among other things, the colours used in the imagery, the word “Chicken”,
and the lack of variety in the vegetarian menu have played a big role in the association. Also, among the non vegetarian
consumers, the word “Fried” is a reason for health concerns.
Franchise driven Indian fast food restaurant industry sales has been growing at a rate of 15%-30% in the last five years. It is
projected to go higher than 40%in the coming years. A nation that is particular about its food and significantly fond of
home cooked and fresh food this trend is showing the globalization of India and increase of new markets not witnessed in
The category of fast food franchises have been doing well in the country due to favourable factors like rising disposable
incomes, changing consumer behavior and lifestyles. The category has also witnessed a surge in the number of global and
local players in the recent years.
Traditionally, the Indian eater has been eating on the road side stalls and shops. However with this change in lifestyle and
consumer behaviour, he has become ‘aspirational’ towards his eating habit. The Indian consumer today seeks quality food
and healthy food - he is not looking for “food at low price” but for “quality food at fitting price”.
Another major factor concerning the category and the brand is the portion of vegetarians in the Indian population. While
about half of the country is vegetarian, there is a large trend of “go green” among consumers. This has largely been due to
the rising health and ecological concerns among the consumers wherein being-vegetarian is associated with being-healthy
and being-green or based on religious beliefs. About 60% of the population between the age of 25 and 40 – the share of
consumers who spend the most at fast food outlets, especially at well known food-chains.
The competitors of KFC in India are McDonalds, Dominos, Pizza Hut, Subway.
Mc Donalds, since it came to India in 1996, has become one of the biggest sellers in the category. Consumers like
McDonalds for their low cost menu – which widens their consumer group. They have introduced Indianised products and
the masses like the variety and the new range of products they keep coming up with. That they serve no beef or pork –
and talk about it – has encouraged vegetarian users towards them.
Pizza Hut too is known for its variety in Pizza offerings – vegetarian and non vegetarian – as well as for their side dishes.
The brand name is a big puller and they are still trying to adapt to the Indian taste buds. However, the brand does suffer
from competition and also quality related perception challenges. Good reach and targeting the universal audience has also
worked in their favour.
Dominos attracts customers with its low price menu, quick service and exciting offers. Consumers also like the variety in
its vegetarian and non vegetarian offerings. It has differentiated itself with Pizza Hut by promising to deliver within 30
minutes and positioning itself as “pizza delivery experts” – which helps it overcome the lack of dine-in options to a great
Subway, in India since 200, already has more than 344 outlets in 30 cities and plans to expand to 700 by 2020. Subway has
maintained its standard menu globally. However, in India it is a hit because of the vegetarian and local flavours it has
introduced. Among the various categories in its menu, “Veg Specials” and “Fat Free” have the highest brand recall among
consumers – which also make it look like a “fresh”, “healthy” brand. Subway has also planned ‘veg-only’ outlets – with a
few already in operation. This exclusivity has helped bring in more vegetarian consumers who otherwise feel
‘accommodated’ by other competitors; and more non vegetarian consumers – who feel that Subway products are healthy
and fresh. For most Subway fans, it is a brand that signifies ‘health at affordable price’.
Last, but not the least, the local chains and restaurants make the last major competitor to KFC. With multiple brands of all
sizes, flavours, offerings and specialties, they are set to grow as more players are anticipated to emerge in the future.
Without much use of media, they have become popular due to good WOM publicity. However, because most consumers
are not aware of all the brands – and thus cannot differentiate the players as ‘experts’ of any particular taste – most of the
decisions to go – and “try” - these places depends on what consumers hear about them.
It has a well organized chain of over 223 food-outlets across 35 cities in India and it aims to double its strength and rope in
40 more cities by 2015 in the country. KFC has also started delivering orders like its competitors.
To establish the brand as a healthy player with a variety of offerings for all kinds of consumers. The brand seeks to shed its
image of a ‘not-so-healthy’, non vegetarian brand that ‘also thinks of vegetarians’ and come across as a brand that has a
fair share of products for everyone.
Why is this brief here?
To reposition the brand to target – and not just include - vegetarian consumers while maintaining the core image of KFC
engaging the entire Indian market.
What do we want people to DO as a result of this communication?
We want to eliminate any inhibitions which vegetarian consumers have with respect to eating at KFC and want them to
want to eat at KFC over their competitors the next time they step out. We want them to explore options available at KFC
and keep treating it as an aspirational hangout that is not just for non vegetarians. Just like consumers “try new things”
while buying from other categories, we want them to come and try our range of “green, healthy and fun” vegetarian
How do we expect communications to work towards achieving this?
The communication should change the mindset of vegetarian people towards the brand KFC. By adding green aspects to
the communications along with elaboration on the variety in the menu specifically for vegetarians, we want the
consumers - especially vegetarians - to be perceived as thoroughly satisfied and spoilt for choice after eating at KFC. We
want to create an aspirational feeling with respect to the brand and quality of food served at KFC to differentiate it from
the present ‘just another fast food outlet’.
We can elaborate on a previous campaign by KFC, KFC being an ‘adda’ for college students. Where KFC is the ‘adda’ for
everyone (especially vegetarians), catering to each type of taste bud
Whom are we trying to influence?
Youth and young families, mainly vegetarians. – both college going and young professionals who love hanging out with
friends. As a prototype He/she has a diverse group of friends and wants spend time with each of them. They often feel left
out due to the lower number of options (with respect to Veg food) available to them.
What are we trying to convey?
Why not explore the newer varieties of KFC’s veg offerings as well? The variety and quality of food at KFC is healthy and
green with variety of products for all taste buds - not just worth a try but much more.
What will help people KNOW this?
Having an elaborate – and exclusive - menu highlighting the vegetarian options available to consumers. The use of green
and yellow color tone will help the people to establish a connection between the brand and ‘being healthy and fresh’ also,
in the consumer’s mind. A communication of product range that promises equivalent treatment with the non-vegetarian
counterparts – as in the consumers and the products as well.
What will help people FEEL this?
People are always motivated by the ‘try new’ factor – from phones to clothes to vehicles, but when it comes to food it
doesn’t work that way as they are restricted to vegetarian food which doesn’t provide that much new varieties as given for
non-veg. The emphasis on the quality of food in KFC and using the brands history of innovation with recipes can change
this perception of the brand among people.