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KFC, Dunkin' Donuts Seek to Ensure Obesity Epidemic Doesn't End in US

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The United States ranks 18th on the Global Prevalence of Adult Obesity list, with 32.2% of males and 35.5% of females measuring a BMI (body mass index) of 30 or higher. China ranks #136, with 2.4% and 3.4% of males and females medically categorized as obese. South Korea and India are almost at the bottom of the list, at a rank of #140 and #141, respectively. However, thanks to global expansion and international consumer reciprocity of some fast food chains as American as apple pie, that may soon change.

Fast food brands going global is nothing new, but thanks to the lagging United States economy and booming populations in emerging global markets, it’s becoming quite profitable. Yum Brands paved the way in 1987 when it brought KFC to China. Today, China now represents a nice chunk of Yum Brand’s sales and operating profit and accounted for a sharp increase in fourth-quarter 2010 profits. Naturally, other fast food chains are hungry for a piece of the cash cow.

Johnny Rockets, the all-American diner-themed burger partnered with Shinsegae Food Co. LTD to open its first restaurant in Seoul, Korea's, KangNam Shinsegae Department Store today. According to an official statement, Shinsegae Food Co. plans to open five more restaurants in Korea in the next five years.

Dunkin' Donuts, the world's leading baked goods and coffee chain, is also spreading its message of giant coffee and unnecessary baked goods around the globe. It recently announced a partnership with Jubilant FoodWorks Ltd (which also holds the master franchisee rights for Domino's Pizza in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh), to enter the Indian market. The agreement calls for more than 500 Dunkin' Donuts restaurants throughout India over the next 15 years, with first locations to open by early 2012.

Dunkin' Donuts’new presence in India “follows its expansion throughout Europe, the Middle East, Latin and South America as well as the Asia-Pacific market. It opened its first eight restaurants in Russia in 2010 and has opened more than 70 restaurants in greater China since 2007.” Consumers in India have already proven quite fond of Dunkin' Brands, Inc. temptations. Its other brand Baskin-Robbins opened its 400th shop in India in 2010 and expects the pace to continue. In January, it launched a home delivery service in Mumbai and plans to expand this service, and likely, the waistlines of India's population.
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