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|Is the fast food industry in peril?|
It certainly seems there's a backlash against the fast food industry these days. The trend, especially among young people, is to eat healthier. This has led to many actually shunning fast food restaurants.
The impression of fast food restaurants, certainly seems to have shifted over the last decade or so. The fast food industry has tried to respond with healthy alternatives to their traditional menus. But has the response come too late?
It's difficult to assess the damage caused by recent negative publicity. Many blame the fast food industry for the problem of obesity in the United States. Whether that's justified or not, is readily open to debate. But the debate is out there and certainly not helping the fast food industry.
Image and reputation play a big part in food sales. Some big
players have recently suffered from image problems.
Image and reputation play a big part in food sales. Some big players have recently suffered from image problems.
McDonald's, once had a rock solid reputation. Today
their reputation is tarnished a bit with fiascoes like serving tainted
meat in some countries and the pink slime debacle. Russia went so
far as to temporarily close McDonald's locations this year, citing
sanitary violations. This included the flagship Moscow location, which
was the first in Russia.
Russia went so far as to temporarily close McDonald's locations this year, citing sanitary violations. This included the flagship Moscow location, which was the first in Russia.
Some have gone so far as to call fast food poison and comparisons have been made to the tobacco industry.
Are the best days for the fast food industry behind them?
It certainly appears that the industry will have to keep reinventing itself to remain relevant. Healthier menus, readily available calorie information and not cutting corners with their ingredients are all steps in the right direction.
Campaigns like subways "eat fresh" have proven to be widely popular. Examples like these, showing that fast food doesn't have to be fat food seem to be what the public wants today.
One thing is for certain, fast food restaurants will have to adapt or will slowly continue to lose market share.
By Kerry Zangara, November 10, 2014