FCP: Kentucky Fried Chicken X’Mas Edition

This blog post will be my first of many (hopefully) post called ” Foreign Counterpart”(FCP). My aim for FCP is to share about places that many of us probably heard of, for example, McDonald, Starbucks and etc., and how it is different in Japan or particular item on the menus that is worth trying. To me, I  find it really  fascinating how something I’m familiar with where I am from can be so different in another country. There is bound to be something interesting found at these places. (Hopefully pleasant surprises.)

So without further ado… here is the first edition of “Foreign Counterpart”.

Over in the United States we have a fried chicken fast food chain called Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). I like to call KFC the home of the fried chicken in a bucket. Whether or not you are a fan of KFC back in your home country or not, KFC is actually quite popular in Japan, especially around Christmas time. So what is the story behind KFC popularity during Christmas time ?


  • A group of foreigners in Japan wanted to eat turkey for Christmas. Since there was no turkey,  they opted for fried chicken at KFC instead.
  • Rumor has it that the franchise owner of that KFC told the higher ups. Using this wonderful piece of information KFC Japan saw it as a opportunity and launch their famous 1974 “Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii!” (Kentucky for Christmas!) commercial campaign.
  • It was the first introduction of the KFC Christmas Meal deal. The meal consisted of fried chicken and wine. It cost  $10 , which was quite pricey back in the day.
  • From then on the association between Christmas and fried chicken was established!  A new Christmas tradition was born!

(Click to read full article here.)

Kernel Snaders  decorated in a Santa Suit Photo Credit to GruborPub (Source)

When I stumbled upon this Japanese Christmas tradition, I was surprised.  Over in California and especially where I live, there are no lines  and some KFC locations are not even open on Christmas day. Not even open! While in Japan, people pre-order months in advance for some fried chicken for that one special day of the year. If you did not pre-order online, then be prepare to be stuck in long lines at KFC on December 25. The Christmas festivity surrounding KFC in Japan is amazing. Look at the picture above, is that Colonel Sanders or is that Santa? ;D

So my next question is, what is offered in this year’s KFC Christmas meal?

Although I cannot read Japanese, the pictures of the KFC meal already got my stomach grumbling.  The appreciation of food is a language in itself. So from what I can tell,  they offer three types of meal plan: “Party Barrel” ” Christmas Pack” and the “Premium Series”.  Each of these meal plan have sub-options too!

Here are some pictures of what is on the KFC Christmas Menu:

Party Barrel ( パーティバーレル)

Party Barrel (C) : 4 Original Chicken, Salad, White Tiramisu Cake,  Roast Chicken Stuff with rice

Items that caught my attention:


Christmas Pack (クリスマスパック)

Christmas Pack A: 4pc Chicken Tender, 10pc Chicken Nuggets, 2pc Barbeque Chicken, 5 Original Chicken

Items that caught my attention:

Premium プレミアム

Premium Series: Pork Spareribs
Premium Series: Beef Stew

Click for full  kfc-christmas-2016-menu

Final Thoughts:

Other than the Original Chicken and the Chicken Tender everything else is NOT available in the United States. T-T  I was most surprise by the beef and pork option. To me KFC = Chicken.  If the KFC around me offered that kind of meal around Christmas, maybe I would skip out cooking this Christmas too. If given the chance one day, I think I would at least order a ” Christmas Pack” and join in on this Japanese Christmas tradition once for fun. Would you?

Did any of the item on the menu catch you attention? How is the KFC in your country compared to Japan’s? What kind of food tradition do you have during Christmas time? I love to hear about!

~Happy Holidays Everyone!~


Disclaimer: All image used for this post is credit to Kentucky Fried Chicken Japan Site (Source). Unless stated other wise. Not paid by ANYONE to write this post. I have no affiliation with KFC. 😀


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