Chinese chicken chain fights KFC with hot dogs

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BEIJING -- Ronghua Chicken, the Chinese-style fast food chain headquartered in Shanghai, has added some more Western-tasting food to its menu. The six-year-old state-owned chain entered the Beijing market several years ago to challenge the fast expansion of Kentucky Fried Chicken by serving up chicken with a more Chinese taste than that of its PepsiCo-owned rival.

But Ronghua Chicken's sales are flat while Kentucky Fried Chicken's are flying away, due to more store openings and heavy TV advertising - much of it aimed at children who are more receptive to Western-tasting food.

Now Ronghua (or Glorious China Chicken as it's known) is fighting back by introducing western-style bread, Danish ham, hot dogs, Japanese shakes, ice creams, red tea and chocolate to its restaurants in Beijing in a bid to lure more customers.

Copyright October 1996, Crain Communications Inc.

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