Sunday, June 2, 2013

"Killer food" touched down in Mongolia

KFC logo
Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) settled down recently in Mongolia's capital.  First KFC! Not surprisingly, Mongols have shown Mr.Sanders  a warm welcome  and everybody rushed to "shake his hand". Busy as hell, this fast food restaurant has been overcrowded since its opening, and it looks like a retail store where a big sale on a brand name product is announced. Extremely patient  customers were willing to  wait  80 minutes to get some chicken and some less patient fans left after an hour- waiting, frustrated.

Anything new is always a magnet,  and it seems that  KFC was a very strong one. From the company's standpoint, it was a great decision to open a branch in Mongolia and they will make a good profit along the way for sure.
Represented in 120 countries worldwide, KFC is of course a famous one in culinary field, and so it was not an  "unknown" subject to Mongols. It is also known that KFC has "occupied"  neighboring China since 1987  with more than 4000 branches, making China accountable for more than 40 percent of its revenue.

KFC fans swarming outside the entrance (Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia)
Remarkably, KFC was not "successful" in  making its  Chinese customers "obese", and that is mainly because Chinese are very  much "people in the move". In comparison, the Americans are getting fat because they don't "move" a lot. "Move" in the meaning of exercising , action, motion, movement, and activity.
In that sense the Chinese get a credit regarding how they "protecting" themselves from this "fast food danger" while enjoying the food at the same time. The main reason that Americans having this overweight problem, is the fast food consumption from the childhood on and lack of motion.  McDonald's and KFC are the guilty ones, making them obese.

KFC menu (UB, Mongolia)

Here is the menu:

- One piece of chicken (leg) meal                 T4900     ($3.40)
- Two piece meal                                         T7900     ($5.50)
- Colonel rice meal                                       T7900   
- Zinger "X" meal                                         T 9900    ($6.89)
- Fillet "X" meal                                            T 9900
- Zinger burger meal                                     T 7800   ($5.43)
- Fillet burger meal                                       T 7800
- Friends meal                                              T 16900  ($11.76)
- Family meal                                               T 29900  ($20.80)
- 1pc chicken (drumstick)                            T 2900     ($2.00)
- 2pc chicken                                               T 5900    ($4.10)
- 5pc chicken                                               T 13900  ($9.67)
- 9pc chicken                                               T 24900  ($17.33)
- Zinger burger                                             T 4500    ($2.78)
- Fillet                                                          T 4500
- Cole slaw                              regular          T 800     ($0.55)
                                               large             T 1000    ($0.70)
- Fried potato (pomme frites)   regular          T 2000   ($1.40)
                                               large             T 3000   ($2.08)
- Mashed potato                     regular           T 800
                                               large             T 1000
- Rice                                                          T 1000
Note: T is for Mongolian currency "Tugrik". Current exchange rate USD-T is $1.00=T1437.00
It is not clear how many pieces of chicken are included in Friends' and Family meals.
I am afraid that we, Mongols, are awaiting the same fate as Americans because we can't compete with the  Chinese in "keeping our body in shape". Why? Because we are getting lazy and  prefer more to "be moved" (i.e. use of  transportation),   instead of using own muscles, and that way we "collect" more fat in our bodies. A nation who consumes a lot of meat fat anyway, KFC, or any fast food in that matter, is not something we should be welcoming.  And as we say, anything fried is always not good for your stomach. I don't want to see our future generation suffering from obesity , strolling down the street like a giant ball.

So, no need to be excited in having a new fast food place to go, and be careful in consuming it. I mean don't make it as your regular go-eat-place , but instead  try to avoid it as often as possible. And don't forget to stay on "the move" all the time instead of sitting on your Lazy-boy for hours or drive your car when you can walk.
And also remember: Home-made food is always better and healthy!


  1. big deal. why waste time harping on about kfc. people posting comments on fb going all "junk food", like they discovered gravity. it's not like the mongolian diet is the healthiest in the world. eat it or don't, who gives a crap

  2. I used to be so proud to say we are fast food free country. So sad.

  3. Yeah very true. This is the worst decision ever made for the Mongolians cause all of our traditional food could be called as a fast food and why do we need more of this shit. Hope the young generation knows the side of effects.

  4. To be fair, the article raised valid points and that may trigger long term problems in Mongolia.

    However, Mongolia is NOW facing much more serious problems that Mongolian middle and low classes will pay dearly for as the country may bump into a wall and may have to beg AGAIN at IMF's door!

    All the anti-foreigner bashing, from the government's actions and words, the administration, MPs rethoric...as well as the "welcome" feeling foreigners walking in UB streets experience at night has been a very powerful deterrent for foreigners to bring capital and expertise to Mongolia where it is badly needed.
    The positive 2011 momentum totally collapsed and now Mongolia is too often the subject of (well deserved) jokes.

    Now many may say "who cares about foreigners, we don't need them. We are the sons of Chinggis Khan and we can run our mines, our way".

    Sure, great, why not...but ETT which is 100% Mongolian owned and Mongolian managed went into the wall.
    Great model!

    Then when people say that Mongolians can live THEIR WAY, like they always did, without any need for foreigners to tell them what to do and how,
    they should think few minutes about giving up iPhone, iPad, Hummer, luxury items, newly built flats with good isolation running water and electricity...
    Buying those is not only a cost upfront, it also costs overtime to keep and use.

    As somebody wrote some months ago, "Mongolia is pregnant with capitalism and it's too late to abort".
    It may be unpleasant to read but probably not far from the truth. May be a good while brutal warning shot.

    Now as Mongolians adopted a new life style, addicted to iPhones and alike, if the mining lead boom does not materialized because foreigners don't want to invest anymore (and local banks are just dwarfs in comparison of the needs)
    then Mongolians in their daily lives may not like it
    ....and for those (the most) who were told that mines would bring great benefits for all, the disappointment may be even greater because they see others having somewhere done better than them.

    Anyway, the point is that Mongolian lifestyle is changing seriously and there is no point staying in denial, just accept and adapt,
    and adapting means that GOM should take very very quickly some serious actions to get Mongolian on the path to prosperity instead of wasting time fighting past wars.