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MANILA — An American food and entertainment magazine recently recognized Jollibee as one of the fast-food chains rapidly gaining popularity in the United States.

U.S.-based magazine Bon Appetit included Jollibee in the “Foreign Invasion” category of its list of fast-food restaurants to watch for in 2015.

“Jollibee has started popping up in the States, primarily on the West Coast but with a smattering in Houston, Queens, Jersey City, Las Vegas and Virginia Beach,” the magazine said.

“Store openings are often met with long lines of curiosity seekers and Asian expats,” it added.

The magazine also cited Chickenjoy, Jolly Spaghetti, Aloha Burger and Palabok Fiesta as among Jollibee’s signature dishes.

“We are very pleased to be included in the list of Bon Appetit alongside other similar fast food chains that are continuously growing and making their mark in the U.S. quick service restaurant industry,” said Jollibee Global Brand chief marketing officer Francis Flores.

“This is another positive step towards our goal of becoming one of the top three fast food chains in the world, as we aim to bring our signature langhap sarap meals and the joy of eating to more families,” he added.

Jollibee joined British Pret A Manger, Guatemalan Pollo Campero, South Korean Paris Baguette and South African Nardo’s Peri-Peri in the “Foreign Invasion” category.

Also included in the list is American fast-food chain Smashburger, of which Jollibee recently acquired a 40-percent stake.

Jollibee opened its first U.S. store in Daly City in California in 1988.

It currently has 32 stores in the U.S., located in California, Nevada, New York, Washington, Hawaii, New Jersey, Texas and Virginia.

Jollibee also has branches in Vietnam, Brunei, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Singapore and Hong Kong, bringing its total number of overseas branches to 132.

The company has announced plans to open more stores this year and is projected to have a total store count of 144 by year-end.

In 2014, Jollibee became the number one fast-food company in Asia in terms of market capitalization.

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