China calls for boycott of KFC due to customers’ ‘irrational and excessive’ purchases

KFC Toy Collaboration
  • Following a successful meal toy promotion with the Chinese toy company Pop Mart, KFC is facing backlash and calls for a boycott in China.
  • Reports suggested some consumers bought hundreds of dollars’ worth of the meals to acquire the limited-edition collectibles but threw away the accompanying food.
  • The Chinese Consumers Association Chinese state media called for a boycott, saying the collaboration was causing “irrational and excessive” purchases.

The Chinese Consumers Association (CCA) and Chinese state media is calling for a boycott of KFC after a collaboration with the Chinese toy company Pop Mart allegedly drove customers to waste food while attempting to acquire the collectible toys.

The collaboration between Pop Mart and KFC launched last week to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the first KFC franchise in China. The promotion offers customers one of six limited-edition dolls with the purchase of certain meal sets. 

KFC Collectibles

Eager customers have flocked to buy the meal sets, disposing of the food but keeping the prized dolls. There have been reports of eager collectors hiring others to buy the meals in their place to avoid per-customer limits. One KFC customer allegedly spent upwards of 10,000 yuan (approximately $1,600) buying 100 of the meals just to snag the collectibles. 

The CCA claimed the frenzied buying encouraged by KFC goes against “public order, good customs and the spirit of the law” and argued that collaboration encouraged this with “limited edition blind-box sales.” They called consumer purchases of the collectibles “irrational and excessive.”

On eBay, single figurines from the collection were reselling for prices that ranged from $45 – $69. A set of all six figurines on the website was selling for $169. An unboxing video showed the different types of figurines available, with the collector having snagged the full set of all six

Frenzied buying during fast-food promotions has become common, not just in China, but with worldwide events like the McDonald’s BTS meal. In 2020, the Chinese government launched a campaign aimed at reducing food waste that especially targeted social media influencers who consumed in excess on their platforms. 

Images via Box Fungus

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