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BRIEFING


are now more likely to do so, increasing the market by as much as 20%. According to Chopra, this population is here to stay. At the same time, smaller


establishments, which previously dominated the market in emerging economies like China and India, have also been among those that suffered the most. “They have not been able to handle the pandemic because they do not have the capacity to


“The China market is poised for significant growth. In the next year and a half, once the market settles, there will be a lot happening”


close shop for six or seven months,” says Chopra. “Big chains have the capacity and the revenue to get through this phase and come out stronger.”


Meet the market It isn’t just the impact of the pandemic that has made China such an attractive prospect – many large QSR chains already had their eyes on the country.


“The rise of technology in foodservice is something that is helping the growth of the industry,” says Chopra. Over the last few years, major brands including Yum have been investing in digitalization, with KFC having made a near-complete switch to contactless payments and


Below: Big brands, such as KFC, are already familiar and trusted to maintain hygiene standards


beginning to apply IoT and robotics to its operations. “China has always been a nation that favors the use of technology,” Chopra adds. These advances have been essential during the pandemic and will drive the industry into the future. “Health, trust and transparency are big factors, especially for the young population,” Chopra adds. Consumers in China increasingly seek fresh, organic, plant-based products. Successful chains like Starbucks and Burger King have incorporated this priority into their strategies, with Burger King launching its first plant-based burger in China this year.


Where a brand can build trust


by educating and empowering its customers, it stands to benefit. Many international brands such as KFC and McDonald’s have the upper hand here, as they are already familiar and inherently trusted.


This was especially important during the pandemic, when people turned to establishments they trusted to follow hygiene and regulatory protocols, and will be key to their success in the foreseeable future, according to Chopra. The QSR market in emerging


markets is here to stay, with a highly promising ongoing growth trajectory. “The China market is poised for significant growth,” says Chopra. “In the next year and a half, once the market settles, there will be a lot happening.”


The impact of the pandemic will play a part in this, with health concerns, technological innovation and trust remaining centre stage. Add to this the reopening of the travel industry, which will bring an influx of new consumers, and the market is set to flourish.


124 For more go to fcsi.org


ALAMY


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