Africa Expansion: McDonald’s Eyes Nigeria, KFC Looks To Ethiopia

Written by Kevin Mwanza

US-based global fast food giants McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) are expanding in Africa and are looking to get into high growth markets on the continent in Nigeria and Ethiopia Respectively.

While McDonald’s, which already operated in South Africa, Egypt, Morocco and Mauritius, eyes the Nigerian market, KFC is looking to open  a number of outlets in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, in 2016, The Reporter said.

“It is not about if, it’s about when,” McDonald’s South Africa Chief Executive Greg Solomon told HowWeMadeItInAfrica on the sidelines of the Retail Congress Africa taking place in Cape Town.

McDonald’s, which has been in the South African market for two decades and has more than 36,000 outlets in over 100 countries worldwide, has been slow in expanding northwards into other African countries where income levels are much lower.

But an economic boom over the last decade has seen an increase in the number of Africans entering the middle class, boosting their consumption levels and attracting global fast food chains like Starbucks, Domino’s Pizza and Subway.

The food chains invest heavily in market research before choosing to enter a new market, down to the details of identifying specific locations for the stores.

McDonald’s indicated in December last year that it was looking to set up shop in Kenya if is found a partner with strong retail experience and “willingness to devote full time to the McDonald’s restaurant business, knowledge of the real estate market (and) significant capital”.

On the other hand, KFC, which has over 18,000 outlets in 120 countries across the world, would be the first global food chain to enter the Ethiopian market once talks with local suppliers are concluded.

KFC already operates in 13 sub-Saharan African countries including South Africa, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya.

“Now it is coming to Ethiopia. The company is expanding its portfolio in Africa,” a source told The Reporter. “They are very serious about Ethiopian market,” he added.