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KFC Doubles Down in Africa

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Going on safari is one of the best ways to experience the Discovery Channel first hand, but like most international experiences, can often lead to feelings of homesickness and alienation.

Well, problem solved. Thanks to a little something called globalization, you’ll soon be able observe antelopes, zebras, and tigers all the while eating drumsticks out of a good ol’ fashioned bucket of KFC.

Louisville-based Yum Brands said today that it plans to double the number of KFC’s in Africa to about 1,200 by 2014, according to the AP. The company said it expects KFC to become a $2 billion brand in Africa that will lead to more than $100 million in profit.

The expansion will get its start in South Africa, where KFC already has more than 600 locations.

"We're using our South African base as an opportunity for us to ... enter other countries," Yum CEO David C. Novak said at the company’s investor-analyst conference.

Earlier this month, Wal-Mart unveiled a similar strategy when it announced plans to acquire a 51 percent stake in the South African retail giant Massmart, saying that its aim was to “grow its international business by increasing its exposure to emerging markets with high growth potential.’’

That would give Africa two, count ‘em two, big named brands from the American South. Which, you know, sounds sort of weird, were it not for the fact that Africa actually has a long-standing reverence for another big Southern tradition.

Country music.

Yup. Africans love country music.

Back in 2007, NPR reported how country music is one of the most popular musical genres on the continent.

“Kenya is Kenny Rogers territory,” NPR reports. “The Gamblers is one of the top requested songs of all time, but the listeners apparently want more”

And if you need to see it to believe it, well, here you go.

And so, should Yum investors feel nervous about the company's latest foray?  Nope. By the looks of it, KFC will be right at home.
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.