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(Aug. 15, 2001) COPENHAGEN -- Multinational fast-food chains in Denmark are finding the competitive environment increasingly hostile.

A new report on Denmark's eating habits confirms that while the quick snack is still popular, American-style fast-food chains are losing out in the popularity stakes to traditional Danish "hot-dog wagons" and to more recent arrivals such as kebab and falafel outlets.

Commissioned for Fodevardirektorat, Denmark's Food Control Agency, the survey provides an interesting insight into the nation's eating habits. According to the report, healthier eating habits are playing a dramatic role in reducing the tendency among Danes "to eat out."

Pizza Hut, which has rarely posted a profit in Denmark, is reported to be contemplating a downsizing of its operation, while rival pizza chain Dominos posted a $1.8 million loss in 2000.

Recent newcomers, such as Subway and KFC, are experiencing problems in establishing a strong foothold in Denmark, while the traditional market leader, McDonald's Corp., has also reported a slowing of revenues. In 2000, McDonald's 200 restaurants in Denmark reported a measly profit of $1 million on revenues of $162 million.

Despite the poor sales figures, optimism continues to dominate the mindset of at least one of the fast-feeders. Dominos, the pizza delivery company, recently announced plans to open a further 40 outlets across the country, bringing its total number to 100. -- Gerard O'Dwyer

Copyright August 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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