(Bloomberg) – China is urging consumers to boycott a promotion offered by KFC and toy retailer Pop Mart International Group Ltd., saying it encourages food waste, the latest example of a foreign brand struggling to sell. second largest economy in the world. .
The China Consumers Association said in a statement on Wednesday that one person bought 106 meals and spent nearly 10,500 yuan ($ 1,650) to obtain a complete collection of toys. Others paid people to eat additional meals they bought in the week since the promotion began or simply threw the food away, he said.
“As a food retailer, KFC has induced and encouraged the irrational purchase of excessive foods,” said the association, a national organization overseen by the government. “This is a violation of morals and norms, as well as the spirit of the law.”
A poster of the promotion seen on the Twitter-like Weibo service shows that the KFC-themed dolls are destined to mark the fast-food giant’s 35th year in the Asian nation.
Representatives for KFC operator Yum China Holdings Inc. and Pop Mart did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Shares of neither company were hit hard in Hong Kong, with Yum rising 0.9% at the close and Pop Mart adding 7.2%.
The Chinese government and state media frequently criticize foreign brands, hurting sales and forcing executives to apologize. Canada Goose Holdings Inc., Mercedes-Benz, Walmart Inc. and Intel Corp. have been called in since late last year.
The government of Chinese President Xi Jinping launched a sudden campaign in 2020 to reduce food waste, a move that sparked speculation about its ability to feed its 1.4 billion citizens. Authorities later emphasized that the nation had ample food reserves.
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