The Christmas KFC Craze in Japan

Colonel Sanders

Christmas in Japan has a unique tradition that might surprise many – it involves devouring buckets of finger-lickin’ good fried chicken from KFC. While the Western world often associates Christmas with turkey and ham, Japan has embraced KFC as a festive staple during the holiday season. Let’s dive into why this unlikely pairing has become a beloved Christmas tradition for many Japanese families.

A Tasty Tradition Takes Root

The origins of the Christmas KFC tradition date back to the 1970s when KFC launched a marketing campaign called “Kurisumasu ni wa Kentakkii” or “Kentucky for Christmas.” The clever marketing pitch successfully positioned KFC as a Christmas meal, and the idea quickly caught on.

Convenient and Festive

One of the key reasons behind the popularity of KFC during Christmas is its sheer convenience. In Japan, where Christmas isn’t a public holiday and people work until the evening, the idea of a ready-made, delicious meal that requires no cooking is immensely appealing. KFC, with its easy takeout and delivery options, fits the bill perfectly for busy families.

Limited-time Special Christmas Menus

KFC in Japan goes the extra mile during Christmas, offering special holiday menus and festive buckets adorned with Christmas-themed designs. These limited-time offerings add an extra layer of excitement and contribute to the festive atmosphere.

A KFC Christmas bucket of chicken


Embracing a Western-Style Christmas

Japan has embraced various Western traditions, and Christmas is no exception. As the holiday became more popular in the country, the idea of a Christmas feast featuring fried chicken became ingrained in the culture. KFC, with its association to the West and the festive marketing, seamlessly became a symbol of a Western-style Christmas.

Pre-ordering Frenzy

As Christmas approaches, the demand for KFC reaches a fever pitch. Many families place orders in advance to ensure they don’t miss out on their Christmas bucket. The anticipation and excitement around securing the coveted KFC Christmas meal have become a part of the holiday tradition.

In a nutshell, the Christmas KFC phenomenon in Japan is a delightful fusion of clever marketing, convenience, and the embrace of Western holiday customs. As families across Japan gather around the table to enjoy their KFC Christmas feast, it’s a testament to how a simple marketing campaign turned into a cherished holiday tradition that continues to bring joy and flavor to the festive season.

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