The Truth About Kentucky Fried Chicken In Japan Will Make You Reconsider The Meals You Serve For Christmas

As we near the Christmas holiday many of us are planning our holiday meals. As we dream of spiral ham, macaroni and cheese and sweet potato pie, the Japanese are dreaming of the eleven herbs and spices in the KFC fried chicken. I was shocked to find out that the preferred Christmas meal is a party package from Kentucky Fried Chicken. Yes, KFC is Japan is ramped up to serve fried chicken for Christmas dinner to millions of Japanese people.


I was surprised to find this out because we would be offended as Americans if we were invited to someone’s home for Christmas dinner and were served any type of fast food. But the opposite is true in Japan. People preorder chicken meals in November to make sure they get chicken for Christmas. If you don’t get the coveted party barrel or party package from KFC, there are plenty of other places that will be serving fried chicken meals in order to tap into that holiday market for fried chicken and fill the void.

How KFC Came To Be the Holiday Meal in Japan for Christmas

When Kentucky Fried Chicken expanded to include franchises in Japan in the 70’s, fried chicken from America was a strange thing for the Japanese people but the company had a brilliant idea of making it into a meal that is special instead of ordinary.  And so an advertising campaign began that promoted KFC for Christmas and offered party barrels and packages for the Christmas holiday. This has caught on, and today fried chicken from KFC is the traditional holiday dinner for Christmas served in Japan with other companies offering meals as well. So what would be strange to serve guests in America is expected in Japan.

Did You Know This? Feel free to leave a comment below.

The reality is that there are barely any Christians in Japan so the masses do not celebrate the birth of Jesus. Christmas is not viewed the way it is in America and is more of a Western holiday with tales of Santa and wishes of snow for the holidays. The introduction of fried chicken is a way of introducing a Western phenomenon to another culture but reframing how it is accepted.

What is included in the KFC Party Package or Barrel? What else can be included in some of the fried chicken meals in Japan?

Of course fried chicken is the star of the show with some opting to include barbecued chicken legs or rotisserie chicken. The sides can include potato salad which is a bit surprising. Recently rice has become a popular side. Some meals even include champagne or some type of alcoholic beverage. Another star of the show is a Christmas cake that is included in the meal which is a type of strawberry shortcake variety.

Some may include Wagashi which is a popular Japanese dessert but is not as sweet as the desserts we eat in America and prepared with plant based ingredients. They are treats of all shapes and sizes, usually served with tea, and can be included in a family meal served on Christmas in Japan.

What are you having for Christmas Dinner?

What are your thoughts?

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Wagashi – Wikipedia

KFC in Japan – Wikipedia

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