When it comes to commercial fried chicken, most Filipinos would agree that Ministop’s Uncle John’s fried chicken is one of the best, if not THE best, options in the market. In fact, some people would even argue that it can compete with the most popular restaurants in the country.
Easy on the wallet and packed with flavor, Uncle John’s chicken is super accessible. Even their gravy is delicious as well. You just need to find the nearest Ministop convenience store, and you’re good to go.
Hence, plenty of Pinoys momentarily panicked when it was announced that Ministop was officially leaving the country. On January 24, Gokongwei-led Robinsons Retail Holdings Incorporated (RRHI), the exclusive franchisee of Ministop in the Philippines, confirmed that they would take full ownership of the stores in the country. According to a Nikkei report, Japanese convenience store chain Ministop has decided to focus on its home market amid the ongoing pandemic.
So what will happen to everyone’s favorite fried chicken? Well, you can relax because Ministop announced that Uncle John’s isn’t going anywhere! As per Ministop Philippines’ official Facebook page, their stores will still carry best-sellers like Uncle John’s fried chicken and Kariman.
However, Ministop Philippines also mentioned that they’re planning to diversify and improve on their ready-to-eat menu and offer new products to the market. Hence, you can expect more delicious quick eats from this trusted convenience store chain. Now that Ministop Philippines is fully Filipino-owned, they have the freedom to expand their offerings as they see fit.
Ministop Philippines currently has 460 branches across the nation. These stores will continue under the Ministop brand within an unspecified transition period, “until they are repurposed and appropriately rebranded in consideration of strong ready-to-eat offerings such as Uncle John’s Fried Chicken and Kariman.” Thus, you’ll still get to enjoy Uncle John’s fried chicken, but maybe under a new convenience store name sometime soon.
Ministop has been in the country since 2000, under the joint venture between RRHI, Mitsubishi, and Ministop Japan. In 2018, RRHI bought Mitsubishi for a 60% stake. Hence, RHHI has been the dominant stakeholder for the company for a few years. Aside from Ministop, RHHI also owns popular stores like Daiso Japan, True Value, Toys “R” Us, and No Brand.
So, even though Ministop Japan is bidding sayonara to the Philippines, you don’t have to say goodbye to Uncle John’s fried chicken. Thank goodness, right?
Art Daniella Sison