Marketing Currents - Business and Marketing Current Events

How Panda Express won over customers with a made-up dish


Panda Express’ orange chicken, the quintessential American Chinese invention that helped bolster a nationwide craze for Chinese takeout, turns 35 on Friday. 

The ubiquitous restaurant offering, while deceptively simple, marries a host of Chinese regional flavors with American ingredients.

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Discussion Questions:

  1. What is consumer behavior?
  2. What are consumer preferences?
  3. Why is it important for businesses and brands to understand consumer behavior and preferences?
  4. How do you think businesses and brands learn about consumer behavior and preferences?
  5. What is product development?
  6. How did Panda Express rely on understanding consumer preferences to develop the orange chicken product?
  7. What other new products have been introduced at Panda Express recently?
  8. Why do you think they continue to introduce new menu items?
  9. How might consumer behavior, consumer preferences, and market research influence the development of new menu items at Panda Express?
  10. What is a franchise?
  11. Is Panda Express a franchise?
  12. How might this story represent an example of entrepreneurship?
Chris Lindauer
After working for nearly a decade in professional sports, Chris Lindauer, formed Sports Career Consulting to provide unique sports business education opportunities in and out of the classroom. In the eighteen years (and counting) that followed, Chris has inspired thousands of students to pursue their passions and explore the career of their dreams. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, two teenage daughters and their dog.