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Hey, everyone, this incident and welcome to the most awaited episode of this podcast, yet after revealing today's topic in the previous episode, I got tons of DM's asking when the episode would be released. And I'll be honest, I was completely overwhelmed. Podcasts are usually a one way communication. And speaking to everyone, Adam made me feel all the love that you're giving this podcast, so I'll get right into it. KFC is a massive Christmas tradition in Japan.
No Christmas celebration in Japan is complete without a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken, and this tradition is built on a lie. So let's do shots.
Every year on Christmas, millions of Japanese families feast on KFC special Christmas dinner. In fact, this craze isn't limited to the day of Christmas. This obsession with KFC goes on for the entire holiday month in Japan. The brand says almost 10 times the monthly average in the month of December alone. But where did it all start to answer that? We have to go all the way back to the 1970s, KFC has opened its first store in Japan and the outlet manager, Takeshi or Calvera, overhears to foreign customers having a conversation about how they miss celebrating Christmas back home and how they miss having that special turkey dinner on Christmas.
Now, keep in mind, Japan never really celebrated Christmas back in the day. In fact, there were barely any Christians in the country to mark the holiday. EIDO So in Turkey, Ishioka, where word heard this conversation, he noticed a gap which he could fill and introduced to KFC party Battan, a meal which people could have on Christmas literally gave the Japanese a reason to celebrate Christmas. Before this, the Japanese never really celebrated the festival, but now they showed how they could celebrate it by associating Kentucky Fried Chicken with Christmas.
All of the brands advertising should happy Japanese families huddled around a giant KFC bucket digging into chicken on Christmas. The idea took off and how Japan started buying into the idea of celebrating Christmas with chicken. It gave Japanese families a reason to get together. It gave them a reason to meet friends and families and celebrate together. In fact, the KFC Christmas meal has extended far beyond just chicken. Not KFC also provides cake on Christmas. And it isn't just restricted to food.
Wine has also become a part of this Christmas tradition. In fact, the meal is not marketed as a full blown dinner package. It requires ordering the meal weeks in advance to be able to get your hands on it.
People who don't do this often spend hours in line outside of KFC outlets to get their hands on the Christmas special meal. This specially created package accounts for a third of their annual sales in Japan, a third of it. It's insane, and that's not all. The Japanese also associate gives these iconic mascot, Colonel Sanders, a Santa himself. The brand market's Christmas heavily, with Colonel Sanders dressed in Santa outfits strutting around in their outfits. He has become a Christmas symbol in the country.
While all of this was happening to Kishore Cabrera, the man who made all of this happen also grew in the company. He became CEO of KFC Japan in 1984 and held the position for 18 years.
He later revealed that there was a certain amount of regret he had about the rage he created when he first launched the party barons. He led everyone to believe that people in the West celebrate Christmas with chicken and hence so should everyone in Japan is when no one really knew that people in the West actually celebrated with homemade gnocchi, not fast food chicken. In fact, it is almost unimaginable for a Christian family, let's say, for example, in America, to celebrate the festival with a bucket of KFC.
What various movies and TV shows have taught me is that they believe in preparing an elaborate home cooked meal. However, Christmas was never an official holiday in Japan, and so the idea of celebrating it as a family together, the chicken from KFC just worked for everyone. Christmas in Japan is like New Year's Eve. There's no real reason to celebrate it. But marketing and consumerism make you celebrate the occasion. KFC made Christmas synonymous with chicken. They saw that the Japanese were not doing anything on Christmas, so they used marketing to show them what they could do on Christmas.
And Japan welcomed with open arms and.