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Chain Links: Valentine’s Egg Tarts

Chili1 First, it was KFC making Japanese consumers associate fried chicken with Christmas and now it’s KFC linking egg tarts to Valentine’s Day (subscription required). I tried those Portuguese tarts in a Beijing airport and, yes, I would swap them for a box of Russell Stover (am I the last to know that Russell Stover and Whitman’s is the same chocolate?) in a heartbeat. Of course, China has its share of cynics. 27-year-old Yao Lianyi said “The only foundation behind these holidays is commercialism.” Sweet, eggy commercialism.

Apparently, last February KFC in Singapore hosted a blogger event to promote the Valentine’s/Chinese New Year egg tarts…and well, you don’t really see posts like this in NYC.

Chains expand and invade on a daily basis, but Russia’s first Chili’s has been getting more press than others. I’ve learned quite a few things: that they won’t be serving their signature black bean burger (I had no idea a veggie patty was their calling card), there’ll be vodka bottle service and toothpicks at the table and perhaps, most strangely, that Chili’s toned down the spice level in Puerto Rico.

Jubilant FoodWorks, the company that operates Domino’s in India, will be responsible for a “yet-unnamed international food chain.” What will it be?

Likely not Quiznos, which has been named to open five stores by the end of this year. New sauces, more vegetarian offerings and “Indian grains,” whatever that means exactly, will be used in the bread. I could totally see flatbread Sammies made with naan.

Tim Hortons is the latest brand to expand to the Middle East.

Latvia will receive three new McDonald’s locations this year. Their menu doesn’t appear wildly different from the US one, though I don’t think we have a CBO (Chicken Bacon Onions).

Photo: Vladimir Filonov/Moscow Times

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