By Liliane Kouassi 

McDonald's RestaurantDo the French always say non merci to burgers?

France and its people have always been proud of their renowned culinary traditions and would be perfectly content to keep French cuisine the same. France is also known to be a difficult market to conquer.

Having said this, foreign fast-food brands saw a prosperous growth over the previous decade. Indeed burgers are doing well over there, so much so that France constitutes McDonald’s second biggest market worldwide and other brands such as KFC, Subway and Burger King are planning their expansion in France too. Between 2005 and 2013 sales of fast food have seen a 73% rise in France. The fast-food market represented 34 billion euros (£29bn) in 2012, overtaking traditional French cuisine.

The reason behind the popularity of burgers in France.

For KFC, France is the country where sales are the most profitable. The turnover is 3 million euros (£2.6m) per restaurant in France while it is 3.4 million euros (£2.9m) for McDonald’s. One of KFC’s focuses is on finding the right spots for its restaurants – ideally near a big supermarket.

While the economic crisis has been problematic for traditional French restaurants, French consumers have consistently frequented fast food restaurants. The French consumer is now watching his budget more tightly and is looking to feel full and satisfied with a menu that will stay under 10 euros. The fast food restaurants have successfully adapted their prices to the social and economic situation. In 2012 KFC launched a burger for 2 euros (£1.70) and lowered the price of its coffee to 1 euro (£0.85).

KFC's French Facebook page

KFC observed its French customers’ tastes and adapted its products.

They noticed that the French customers did not really enjoy the chicken wing buckets as much as the sandwiches. KFC then launched a series of burgers adapted to its customers’ tastes. KFC also created lighter options for its menus, replacing fries with corn or including a salad.

Knowing that the consumers may be concerned about the quality of the products used by the brand, KFC assures that its recipes’ ingredients are strictly monitored and that for the restaurants located in France, products are only imported from European countries such as Germany, Netherlands or France itself.

Do you enjoy fast food?

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