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Yum! Brands Inc., the owner of the KFC fast-food chain, said it may enter Ethiopia as it expands across the continent.
The fast food giant currently has over 18,000 outlets in 120 countries across the world.
“Ethiopia is the one that stands out because it has 85 to 90 million people, so that’s attractive. We’re certainly nowhere near pushing the go button, it’s still at that exploration stage, to find the right partner, to see if the business model will work.” Bruce Layzell, Yum’s general manager of the African market for Yum! Brands Inc reportedly stated.
The company that registered a revenue of 2.9 billion USD last year has a strong position in China. The KFC chain receives half of its revenue from China, where it operates in more than 4,000 outlets.
“We don’t want to go to a country where we can only build four or five restaurants, because that will not deliver anyone success. We want to go in and build 50 to 100 outlets; our business is a scale game,” Layzell reportedly also stated said.
Yum operates in 13 sub-Saharan African countries, including South Africa and Nigeria, which are its largest markets in the region.
KFC was one of the first fast food chains to expand internationally, opening outlets in England, Mexico and Jamaica by the mid-1960s.
The fast food giant has come under fire several times for its animal welfare record, links to obesity and environmental impact.
In 2006, Greenpeace, a non-governmental environmental organization based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, accused KFC Europe of sourcing the soya bean for its chicken feed from Cargill, which had been accused of clearing large swathes of the Amazon rainforest in order to grow the crop.
In December 2012, the chain was once more criticized in China when it was discovered that a number of KFC suppliers had been using growth hormones and an excessive amount of antibiotics in its poultry which affected its sales significantly.