Exporting Excellence

Dave Killion — January 17, 2012

Where are the two all-beef patties, the special sauce, the lettuce...?

I have seen many critics alleging that globalization homogenizes culture, but over at Neatorama, Jill Harness provides evidence to the contrary in her article “Fast Food Flavors You Won’t Find in the US” –

“The variety of KFC’s international menus is simply astounding, as the American version exclusively limits itself to fried chicken and a few sides, while the international franchises seem to have no limits on what they serve. On the more standard side, there is the Fillet Tower Burger, which is available throughout Europe and other locations, which is essentially just a chicken sandwich topped with a hashbrown. On the other end of the spectrum is the menu from Thailand, which features stir fries, a tuna and corn salad, fish fingers (like chicken fingers, but fish) and a donut filled with shrimp meat. China offers a similarly strange menu compared to the standard KFC fare, as it includes corn salad, beef wraps, red bean porridge, shrimp burgers and an egg and vegetable soup.”

So if Wendy, Ronald, the Colonel, and the King are adapting cuisine to local tastes, just what are they offering global consumers that they didn’t already have? My guess – consistency in the provision of clean bathrooms, fresh ingredients, fast service,  and low prices. And the flip side? Here in Victoria I can choose from an increasingly wide range of ethnic foods that are either authentic or Westernized, depending on my preferences. And the only thing homogenized is the milk.

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