Supply chain: Chinese authorities slam KFC for ‘arousing panic buying’ after man caught ordering 106 meals
China has blasted KFC for “arousing panic buying” after publicly reprimanding a man for spending thousands on fried chicken.
A man’s shameless attempt at getting his hands on a collection of promotional KFC toys has landed him in hot water with Chinese authorities.
The anonymous fried chicken enthusiast reportedly bought 106 meals in one hit, amounting to about 10,500 yuan ($2250) while on the hunt for the entire set of plastic characters handed out free with every burger combo.
According to a post on Chinese social media platform Weibo, the plastic dolls are part of a promotion to celebrate the fast food joint’s 35th anniversary on the mainland.
But the celebrations weren’t appreciated in Beijing, with the state-affiliated China Consumers Association blasting the Colonel in a lengthy statement, accusing the restaurant chain of ”arousing consumer panic buying and widespread social concern”.
“As a food retailer, KFC has induced and encouraged irrational buying of excessive meals,” the statement read. “This is in violation of morals and norms, as well as the spirit of the law.
“KFC‘s fast food products are limited-use products. It is the characteristic of these kind of products to buy instant food on demand.
“Usually, consumers do not buy too much. The company’s ‘marketing’ means to stimulate consumption, which can easily lead to impulsive consumption of consumers in order to obtain limited-edition blind boxes, and cause unnecessary food waste due to excessive purchases.”
The pushback came as part of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s urgent 2020 campaign to cut down on food waste, prompting speculation the nation of 1.4 billion was facing food shortages as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to authorities, advocating food saving and opposing food waste is a “fine tradition of the Chinese nation and a consumption trend in the new era”.
While Chinese authorities were quick to stamp out rumours of food shortages, a number of experts have warned of the long-term impact the pandemic will have on global supply chains.
“Fears of supply disruptions due to Covid-19 have caused China’s leaders to re-emphasise food security and self-sufficiency,” Shanghai-based analyst for StoneX Group Inc Darin Friedrichs told Bloomberg.
Meanwhile in Australia, KFC is facing its own struggles, reporting serious chicken shortages as hundreds of thousands of Aussies are forced into isolation.
Yum Foods confirmed some of its restaurants will offer a smaller menu as the latest Covid-19 wave grips the eastern states.
“Unfortunately our supply chain has been disrupted, and some of our restaurants will be offering a reduced menu,” a KFC spokesman told news.com.au.
“We’re sorry for any issues this causes our customers – we’re doing everything we can to help our suppliers get back on track.” Signs declaring sold-out items have popped up at stores in recent days, according to 7News.
“Due to supplier issues, we have no original chicken, zingers, fillets or wings. Please refer to sold-out stickers for available items,” one sign read.