Russia Ravenous For U.S. Fast Food

"" reports, “Earlier in his career, Christopher Wynne put his Russian expertise to work researching arms proliferation for the U.S. government. Now he does geopolitics of another sort: deploying U.S. fast food for the emerging Russian middle class.”

“Wynne is the top franchisee in Russia for the Papa John’s Pizza chain. His competitors include the U.S. chains Sbarro and Domino’s, plus a Russian upstart, Pizza Fabrika. But so far, in contrast with the mostly saturated U.S. market, Wynne sees plenty of Russian demand. ‘I could succeed in my sleep — there is so much opportunity here,’ said Wynne, who has just opened his 25th Papa John’s outlet in Russia, doubling the number in the past year.”

“American fast food has been going global for years, of course. China and India continue to be big expansion markets. But lately the industry is finding a growing appetite in Russia — for not only pizza but also for Burger King’s Whoppers, Cinnabon’s Classic Rolls and Subway’s barbecue pulled-pork sandwiches, among others. ‘As consumers have more disposable income, they will spend it on fast food,’ said Jack Russo, an analyst of the industry for Edward Jones. He compares the market here to the U.S. half a century ago.”