Chinese Consumer Group Calls For Boycott Of KFC Over Meal Toy Promotion

A leading Chinese consumer organization has called for a boycott of a KFC meal offer, claiming that the deal that the company was offering for its customers promotes food waste.

According to the China Consumer Association (CCA), the promotional offer from the company caused some buyers to go on a shopping spree and purchase more meals than they need.

Last week, KFC partnered with Pop Mart, a Chinese toy company that is well known in the country for its mystery boxes, and launched the campaign which offered the company’s toys for free with every meal.

When purchasing specific KFC set meals, customers can obtain limited edition versions of large-eyed and round-faced Dimoo dolls free of cost.

KFC “used limited-edition blind box sales to induce and condone consumers’ irrational and excessive purchase of meal sets, which goes against public order, good customs and the spirit of the law”, the state-affiliated CCA said in a statement.

One customer allegedly spent 10,494 yuan ($1,649) on almost 100 meals in one go simply with the intention of collecting the toys that were being offered by the company, while others bribed other customers to purchase the meals for them or simply threw them away, according to the statement.

Last week, KFC began the campaign to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the company opening up its first store in mainland China.

No comment on the issue was available in reports from Yum China, which owns KFC China, and Pop Mart.

The Chinese government, led by President Xi Jinping, initiated a significant campaign against food waste in 2020. The amount of food thrown away in China was described by President Xi as “shocking and depressing.”

During the epidemic, the “Clean Plate Campaign” was launched against the backdrop of mounting concerns about food security.

Online influencers were prohibited from binge eating on social media platforms as part of the campaign, and restaurant patrons were advised not to order more than they could eat.

(Adapted from BusinessWorld.in)

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