Yum! Brands announced this week that it plans to open a total of 15 KFC restaurants within five years in Mongolia, where mutton has long been the local staple and chicken was considered a rare treat until recently.  The Louisville, Kentucky-based restaurant chain, is entering the North Asian country as commodity mining and investment are driving the nation’s development.  Mongolia’s economy is forecast to expand 13 percent this year, according to a World Bank estimate.

“We like to go into markets where no one has been before because we get the first mover advantage,” said Micky Pant, head of Yum’s international business, at the opening of the the company’s first restaurant in the country this week.  “Mongolia has a very strong economy.  We feel the timing is right.”

Pant said the restaurant will service standard KFC items to start and later introduce new items to cater to the local diet, which is largely based on meat and milk products.  KFC sources its meat in Mongolia from countries such as Japan and the United States and plans to source its meat from Mongolia in two years.

Yum! Brands plans to enter the Myanmar market in the future, Pant said, without naming a timeline.