Adult and childhood obesity rates are at a high, and we don’t seem to be slowing down when it comes to big portions and the pride of fast food in America.
Yet something strange appears to be happening: Last year, McDonald’s sales plummeted in their third quarter. In the first quarter of 2015, McDonald’s fast food restaurant sales in the U.S. fell by 2.6 percent, and the company cited difficulties in staying relevant as one of the main factors behind it.
This is because fast food may be on its way out, and sustainable, healthy food may be on its way in.
More and more, the average consumer is becoming educated about what’s in fast food: from hormones and antibiotics to trans fats and preservatives. The genetically modified organism (GMO) debate has also sparked controversy, and spurred major chains like Chipotle to remove GMO-laden ingredients from their menus. More and more research shows that drinking too much soda is killing you, and Dairy Queen is just one example of several fast food chains that have pulled soda from their kid’s menus, replacing it with healthier options.
And fast food companies that were once kings, like McDonald’s and KFC, now have competition in “fast-casual” chains like Chipotle and Panera, which focus on fresh, in-house made ingredients. New initiatives like the Daily Table grocery store are aiming to bring cheap, healthy vegetable options to poorer neighborhoods who are often priced out of all the organic foods.
The world is changing, and it’s up to the fast food chains to decide whether they’ll re-design themselves to meet the growing needs of consumers. If not, they may very well get washed away by newer, more sustainable, and more health-minded food initiatives.
Infographic by euroclinix.co.uk