Sandwich maker Subway aims to more than double its number of stores in mainland China by 2015, a company executive told state media on Monday.
Subway, which has overtaken McDonald's as the fast food chain with the most stores worldwide, is eyeing China for continued growth, the company's Beijing representative, Alexander Moody-Stuart, told the China Daily.
"By 2015 there will be 180 stores in Beijing and well over 600 stores in China," Moody-Stuart told the newspaper in an interview.
Privately-held Subway, which sells franchises to entrepreneurs, has 220 stores in China - a third of which are in Beijing, Moody-Stuart said, adding the total number of mainland outlets could rise to 300 by year end.
Sales revenue in Beijing rose 40 percent year on year in 2010, Moody-Stuart said without providing specific figures.
Tuna is the top selling sandwich in China, but Subway is developing local menu items to help draw more Chinese into buying its sandwiches, Moody-Stuart said.
Rising incomes and rapid urbanisation have fuelled a fast food boom in China, where the sector is growing at 18 percent annually and is worth 540 billion yuan ($83.5 billion), Bian Jiang, vice-general secretary of the China Cuisine Association told the newspaper.
YUM! Stores (China) Investment Company, which owns more than 3,000 KFCs and 500 Pizza Huts, generated $4.1 billion in sales in 2010, accounting for about 36.5 percent of its parent company's global sales last year, the report said.
Subway said it had 33,749 stores across the globe as of January 1, surpassing McDonald's reported 32,737 outlets.