Sales of chicken skyrocket on impeachment day

By Park Jae-hyuk

Fried chicken restaurants in Korea have enjoyed an unexpected boom from the impeachment of former President Park Geun-hye, Friday, because more people had the desire to eat chicken as a satire on the disgraced leader.

Woowa Brothers, an operator of food delivery service app Delivery Nation, said that on Sunday it received 150,000 orders ― up 65 percent from the week earlier ― for the delivery of chicken on the day of the Constitutional Court’s final ruling of Park’s impeachment.

Major fried chicken franchises also had double-digit growth in sales ― up to 20 percent ― from a week earlier at their nationwide stores on Friday. The franchises attributed the rapid increase in their sales to the popularity of chicken at celebrations, saying that most customers enjoyed chicken with beer to celebrate Park’s removal.

The popularity of chicken, however, was not the only reason for Koreans eating chicken on impeachment day.

The move was more like a satire on Park, who was dubbed “Chicken Geun-hye” by her opponents, even before the scandal erupted last year involving her confidant Choi Soon-sil, who is now behind bars. In Korea, “chicken head” is an insult meaning an idiot.

Many Koreans posted online that they ate steamed chicken and chicken soup for lunch, as well as fried chicken, at their companies and schools.

Home plus, the nation’s leading discount chain, announced a discount event on chicken through the company’s official social media, Friday, saying that “It is a good day to eat chicken.”

However, the nationwide fever embarrassed some chicken franchises as well.

Kyochon Chicken, the nation’s second-largest chicken franchise, had to deny a fake news item that it would deliver one box of chicken for free for each purchase to celebrate the impeachment, as the fake news had gone viral on Friday.

“The fake news did not actually raise the number of orders,” a Kyochon official said. “But we immediately announced the denial online to address the customer inconvenience amid this politically sensitive period.”

Meanwhile, major fried chicken franchises are mulling raising prices because of the rising wholesale costs of chickens after the nationwide avian influenza outbreak. BBQ, the nation’s top fried chicken franchise, said the prices will be up about 10 percent beginning Mar. 20.

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