Shanghai, China – Yum China Holdings, Inc. (“Yum China,” NYSE: YUMC), and Taco Bell Corp., the world’s largest Mexican-inspired restaurant chain, today announced that they have fine-tuned a Taco Bell favorite for Chinese consumers: putting words of wisdom on the inside of hot sauce packets instead of the outside to remind customers of fortune cookies. Despite the success the brand has had since relaunching (January 2017) its first restaurant in China since 2008, Chief Executive Officer, Micky Pant, still felt like the menu was missing something.
“The menu features Taco Bell favorites that have been adapted to local tastes. We give more of a generous serving of rice in our burritos than Americans receive. We put rice in our taco salads and use soy sauce as dressing, also, including it as a non-alcoholic beverage. Hell, we even brought back the Chihuahua and didn’t cook it, but something still was barking at me,” expressed Pant. “At the time we weren’t selling Mexican fries and I was in the mood for some French fries and Burger King was the closes, being down the street. As I’m driving there I see all these red packets in the road, so many, in fact, I get out my car to clean them from the lane. They were crushed ketchup packets. So, I get there and order. They were so frea-king boring! So frea-king average! How can a place like Burger King get it right when it comes to burgers but so wrong when it comes to fries? They were disgusting! I complained. That’s when it hit me. I took another route back to Taco Bell and was combing through our hot sauce packets and there it was, ‘The road to mediocrity is littered with empty ketchup packets.’ The kind of stuff that tells you the future. Millions of people already collect our packets for the sayings, so all the more reason to tear carefully.”
To help guide customers, Pant stated the new packaging will have a empty white box on the front of the packets, which will be the location of the phrases on the inside.
In the announcement, Pant shared that them making sauce packets into fortune cookies will not hurt Chinese restaurants as much as their entire menu has hurt real Mexican restaurants since 1962. The Yums Brand had nothing but complimentary remarks for Yum’s. “We can never compete with them, okay. While we spend billions to get more than half the US population to see our commercials once a week, they never make them and still serve billions. When was the last time you seen a commercial for a Chinese restaurant?”