“We got yer pizza …” American cuisine well-represented at Expo 2010.

Another observation from my day-long visit to the Expo 2010 (World’s Fair) soft opening: if you like American fast food, you’re in luck. KFC. Papa John’s. Burger King. Mister Donut. Starbucks (let’s call a spade a spade, shall we?). They’re all there. And so are some of the usual Chinese suspects, too. Makes sense, of course. After all, who’s up for fine dining after spending three hours in line to see a five-minute promotional clip about the wonders of – I dunno – Andorran tourism? And so it should surprise nobody at all – not even me – that the USA’s Expo 2010 pavilion offers its visitors the following meal choices (click to enlarge – please):

Not exactly something for everyone, but certainly something for anyone who doesn’t feel like walking over to the nearby Papa John’s or Burger King. At an optimistic minimum, the menu should provide a good lesson in the forces (forces like USA pavilion sponsor Yum, Inc., owner and pusher of KFC and Pizza Hut) that Michelle Obama has to overcome in her high-profile campaign against childhood obesity. Presumably, if and when she and the kids visit, they’ll pack a picnic.


  1. Speaking as somebody who has enjoyed his entire career in the F&B industry, this menu is the equivalent of dumping vitamin enhanced corn feed down the throats of USA pavilion visitors. Any one in food service can tell you that a menu says everything you need to know about how much respect a restaurant has for its customers and how much care it takes in preparing its food. Based upon the buckets of soda photo I wouldn’t get near this place. Compare this to an average McDonald’s menu and tell me if you’d feel valued or even safe spending your money at this hole.

  2. I think this is a serious issue that China will soon be facing: Rising obesity. The US has exported a lot of technology and habits to China, one of them being high caloric fast food. I hope the Chinese government addresseses this issue when they start to reform their broken health care system, but I’m not holding my breath.

  3. Hillary Clinton should force all of the US pavilion staff to eat and drink this sh@# and only this sh@# every day until they change the menu.

  4. Not a good sign when you can get a more complete meal at McDonald’s or KFC than you can at the US pavilion. Gross.

  5. Adam.

    Wouldn’t it be a treat to see the Obama’s having an organic picnic right in the middle of EXPO. I am sure that would go over really well with the 480,000 people waiting in line at KFC.

  6. You and the commenters are seeing this entirely from the wrong perspective. Imagine that you are Yum! or PepsiCo? Now envision 70 million Chinese visitors, purposely made hungry and thirsty by Expo rules, descending on your take-out joints? If each buys the equivalent of a $1 “USA First!” meal, that’s $70 million in return for a pittance of a sponsorship, be it $1 million or $5 million. A tax deductible sponsorship, mind you. This is a freaking bonanza for the fast food barons in the USA Shopping Mall!

    And then there are those sponsors who indirectly benefit in this obesity orgy, like Cargill and Monsanto, hiding behind the set piece, hawking “More Corn!” and genetically modified “food.” They get their supersized share of public largesse via promotional space and time.

    The US Pavilion is one hulking, $65-million advertisement for what NOT to do regarding national nutritional policy, but what do you expect it to be when it’s a private money-making affair? Fatten up those Chinese real good.

    Hey, the mega-french frier is beeping, so bring ’em on!

  7. I am in 100% agreement with comment #7. This is an ad for Supersize Me. It would have been nice to have Jamie Oliver or the “What’s On Your Plate” organization involved in presenting healthy American food. This is a disgrace. The Heart and Diabetes Associations should be involved in this deal.

  8. We really need to fix legislation in the United States to make it easier for the government to fund US Pavilions directly instead of through corporations. The pavilion should be a message from the people of the United States and not just their corporations.

    So far, I haven’t heard anything about plans for a United States Pavilion at Expo 2012 in Yeosu, Korea or Expo 2015 in Milan, Italy.

  9. In case anybody forgot, the official theme of the US pavilion is ‘Rising to the challenge.’

  10. As a donut lover myself, I am excited to see donuts FINALLY entering the Chinese market. I wonder if Krispy Kreme will also arrive in the Mainland, because Mister Donut is awful and should NOT be China’s introduction to this wonderful food 🙂

  11. Here’s your answer Tom. (the attached URL) Dunkin Donuts has also recently entered the market however I heard it isn’t doing so well. The Australians have their famous one called “Donut King” over by Jin An Si.

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