The incredible rise of chicken chains

Photograph: BonChon

Chicken franchises have been popping up across the country at a steady rate, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Popularity has grown even more since the pandemic, with menus focused on familiar, delivery-friendly food, including chicken tenders and fried chicken meals. These offerings easily lure comfort-seeking consumers looking for a relatively inexpensive family dinner.

According to Market Research Future, the take-out fried chicken market looks to touch $9.85 Billion by 2030 at a steady CAGR of 5.50%. That consistent growth shows that consumers are not only hungry for more chicken, but are also interested in variety.

Consumers have enjoyed tried-and-true recipes such as chicken sandwiches and chicken tenders, but also enjoy exploring new flavors while satisfying a craving. The gap between wanting the familiar and branching out with spices and textures is growing. Global flavors have been increasing in popularity over the past few years, such as Korean cuisine.

Bonchon, a Korean fried chicken concept, has taken fried chicken, a familiar favorite, and incorporated a Korean twist with soy garlic and spicy sauces. Interest in Korean culture and cuisine has seen a rise lately due to pop culture and social media, so leveraging this trend is proving profitable. According to Technomic’s recent Global Food and Beverage Consumer Trend Report, 27% of consumers say they are eating more unique types of global foods and beverages now than they were two years ago. And data from The Food Institute states interest in Korean cuisine spiked nearly 90% in the 12 months leading up to January 2022 and the upward trajectory of Korean restaurant concepts is expected to continue in the foreseeable future.

The number of fast-food consumers has increased as daily life has gotten more hectic, thus boosting the demand for convenient meal routines. IbisWorld states that fast food chicken franchises in the US saw a market growth of 8.4% between the years 2018-2023. Quick service franchises that saw the most growth were able to appeal to the hurried customer with kiosk ordering, digital payments, and third party delivery services. These services increased convenience and desirability, as seen from Bonchon’s online orders making up 60% of the brand’s sales.

With this consistent market growth coupled with growing consumer interest, chicken franchises are seeing success across the country. Not only are more franchises expanding, but they are also experimenting with diversifying their menus. Bonchon has had unit growth of 76.8% from 2017 to 2022 and doesn’t plan on slowing down. The public is eagerly searching for new and global flavors in addition to their stand-by favorites. Chicken can still be a satisfying comfort food while also providing a twist that will keep them coming back again and again.

Being part of a chicken franchise that has seen consistent growth and popularity is a strategic move based on the forecasted data. The public is certainly hungry for more and the opportunity is ready and waiting.

For more information on franchising with Bonchon, visit franchising.bonchon.com.

This post is sponsored by Bonchon


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