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American food chains investing in Cambodia

The Royal Group of Co chairman Oknha Kith Meng (left)

It seems Cambodians are adopting a bit
of an American palate. Pizza Hut and Burger King, specifically, are
currently grappling over a position in the country’s growing
quick-service sector, according to the Phnom Pheh Post.

quick-service industry in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Pehn is worth
about $40 million a year, or 5.3 percent of the city’s annual food
expenditure. Local, more traditional operators are concerned about the
increasing competition from these new, Western entities that continue
to grow rapidly.
vendor Chan Thouen told the Phnom Pheh Post that the growth of
quick-service brands has contributed to a dramatic decline in sales at
her establishment, from 80 to 90 chickens sold per day to 40. A decline
in local restaurants also has occurred in recent years.
A Burger King franchise is currently in negotiations, and the country’s
first Pizza Hut is expected to open in early 2011. Yum! Brands, Pizza
Hut’s parent company, first planted a seed in Cambodia in 2007 when it opened a KFC unit.

joint venture between Kith Meng’s Royal Group, Malaysian company QSR
and Hong Kong firm Rightlink, has invested $10 million into its KFC
franchises since the first outlet opened, and plans to build three new
stores next year, bringing the total to 13.

The company is also
dedicating $3 million for its Pizza Hut franchise, with an objective of
opening 10 units throughout the next five years.

Cambodia’s food
landscape is quickly changing with the addition of other QSR brands, as
well. Dairy Queen announced a plan in July to launch franchised units
in the country.

Additionally, Express Food Group, a subsidiary
of Thai company RMA Group, is expanding Swensen’s and Pizza Company in
2011, as well as the Korean brand BBQ Chicken.

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