Yum China Holdings (NYSE:YUMC) can boast of many superlatives in the Chinese eating-out market. It’s the largest restaurant chain in China.

With over 8,000 locations, it has more than 2.5 times the units of its next-largest competitor, Starbucks Corporation. It claims the mantle of being the biggest restaurant delivery system in China.

And it counts 160 million people in its loyalty programs — a number equivalent to half of the current U.S. population. But for all its sheer size and influence, and despite a relatively free hand in operations since its November 2016 spinoff from Yum!

Brands, Inc., Yum China Holdings is still learning to navigate the nascent Chinese casual dining market. This is easily discerned when comparing the diverging fortunes of its two major brands, KFC and Pizza Hut.

In the first quarter of 2018, Yum China’s KFC brand delivered a same-store sales increase of 5%, which new CEO Joey Wat attributed in part to product innovation. KFC rolled out a series of premium products during the quarter, including a seafood item, the “Crayfish Burger,” a spicy chicken burger, and stuffed chicken wings. Read more from fool.com…

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