When is talked about fast food, it is usual to experience a mental picture containing hamburgers, french fries, sandwiches, ice creams, and sodas. However, since there has been some increase in the interest in the nutritional value of fast food, as people become more health conscious (Kara, Kaynak, & Kucukemiroglu, 1997) it was claimed that the trend was that consumers wanted low-calorie, light, and low-fat menu items. In this situation, marketers who manage fast-food restaurants need to understand how their customers think of their menu items. On the other hand, according to both Cranage and Hwang (2010), despite the fact that many researchers and media report about the unhealthy nature of fast foods, American people have developed a taste for fast foods.
Nevertheless, these experts are in the right because it is curious to see how Americans being conscious about the damage of fast foods and also conscious about the importance of health, fast food restaurants are still popular. Important experts as Mary Story, Karen M. Kaphingst,Ramona Robinson-O’Brien, and Karen Glanz argue that “The number of food establishments in the U.S. has nearly doubled in the past three decades”, of which I totally agree. Another reason why this is still happening is presented by Shaharudin, Ismail, Mansor and other experts is that nowadays, in modern living, food choice is crucial for health conscious consumers who always place the importance on healthy living lifestyle and nutritional value products. Consumers are seeking quality, value and a desirable environment away from the daily life pressures (Soriano, 2002). In short, Americans tendency for dinning at fast food is a consequence of the technological advances and life pressure we all live. Ironically, as the popularity of healthier menus increases, so does the weight of many Americans. (Wansink & Chandon, 2007).
Many studies have been conducted to understand Americans’ behavior while making their decisions of eating at fast foods. An interesting study conducted by Chandon and Wanskink in 2010, “The Biasing Health Halos of Fast-Food Restaurant Health Claims: Lower Calorie Estimates and Higher Side-Dish Consumption Intentions” reveals that even where the conscience of a healthier nutrition is increasing, the obesity of Americans have not declined because people burn fewer calories than they used to. This decrease in burning calories is because of technological progress and changing lifestyle that have been experienced in the last years. I agree that this new lifestyle is affecting the eating habits, now people do not have to walk to their food, now we have fast delivery services, less physical activities due to the computers and the facilities it offers.
This same publication, earlier mentioned, studies the perceptions differences between McDonalds and Subway which demonstrated that McDonalds is perceived to have the doubled calories that Subway’s eating options. A third study is published in the same article that interestingly the participants received a coupon to buy a BigMac at McDonalds or a BMT sandwich at Subway, a cookie and a Coke in which the contestant that purchased at Subway ate 56% more calories than the contestant purchasing at McDonalds. This occurred because the Subway contestant upgraded to larger beverage and ordered a cookie, while McDonalds contestant ordered a diet beverage and were less likely to order a cookie. In short, health claims at restaurants lead people to unknowingly choose side dishes containing more calories resulting this in eating the same amount of calories of a fast food restaurant that is considered as not healthy. What causes that no matter the healthier options offered by fast food chains consumers will tend to consume more calories and continue in the increasing trend of obesity. Even if consumer seek for healthier way if marketing does an effective work and present food as high quality to the population it would be successful, this is subtended by Soriano investigation’s results published in 2002.
Fast foods are no longer a bunch of hamburgers and French fries, now they are offering a healthier menu selection. But, even the fast foods are attending the more conscious Americans, are the same Americans that are no conscious enough to make smart decisions when it comes to food selection. I t is made clear that nutrition as a matter of fact, an important issue that has to be covered by the American society. Is not to say, “I will eat in a helahty fast food restaurant” and when you come to see, the person eats the same amount of calories and fat than in a restaurant that is not perceived as healthy. The American population has the conscience of a healthier diet, but they are not choosing their diet wisely and it is a problem that would not reduce the obesity in the country.
Hwang, J., & Cranage, D. (2010). Customer Health Perceptions of Selected Fast-Food Restaurants According to Their Nutritional Knowledge and Health Consciousness. Journal of Foodservice Business Research, 13(2), 68-84. Retrieved April 20, 2011, from the Academic Search Complete database.
Discusses that regardless the conscience of Americans about the damage that causes eating at fast food restaurants, this habit has not decline. . Also discusses the reasons that have not permitted the habit to decrease and one of the most important reasons is the new fast-lifestyle that Americans are living. A study to discover the health perceptions of fast food company’s menus by college students, the largest segment of the fast food industry and factor founded are discussed too. It studies two restaurants that offer a different type of food and the perception of consumer toward them.
Kara, A., Kaynak, E. and Kucukemiroglu, O. (1997) Marketing strategies for fast food Restaurants: A customer view. British Food Journal 99:9, pp. 318-324.
This study examines the perception of fast-food consumers in Canada and the United States. The different perception according to the type of people eating in these restaurants is also discussed. The study uses the same type of restaurants in different countries and discusses it. Promotion plays an important role when it comes to decision making, the study arguments if the restaurant positioning can be changed or improved through promotion.
Rizaimy, S. M., Sabur Bin, I. A., Wan, M. S., Jamel, E. S., Abdul, J. M., & Wan, O. M.(2011). Innovative Food and Its Effects toward Consumers’ Purchase Intention of FastFood Product. Canadian Social Science; 7(1), 110-118. Retrieved April 20, 2011, from the EBSCO database.
Nowadays, decision making is becoming more difficult to the consumers and it is also happening in the food industry. For the the food industry, this is a challenge because consumers are becoming more conscious. Marketers and Researchers have a challenge in their hands: understand new customer needs and find out how to serve them.
Soriano, D. R. (2002). Customers’ Expectation Factors in Restaurants. International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, 19(8/9), 1055-1067
The restaurant sector is one of the fastest growing sectors and looks likely to continue its development into the future. It explores the Spanish population attitude toward the increasing tradition of dinning out, while this population is well known because their tradition of cooking as a familiar activity. customers. Quality of food was rated as the most important attribute, followed by quality of service, cost/value of the meal, and place/ambience of the restaurant.
Story, M., Kaphingst, K. M., Robinson-O’Brien, R., & Glanz, K. (2008). Creating Healthy Food and Eating Environments: Policy and Environmental Approaches. Public Health, 29, 253-272. Retrieved April 20, 2011, from http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/full/10.1146/annurev.publhealth.29.020907.090926
Environment is a main influence that decides about the eating pattern, the paper outline: individual, social environment, physical environment, and macro-level environments. The environment in which the food is consumed has an effect on people and such as their life. It also discusses the eating out habits of the American population and why it is increasing this practice. It argues that if Americans seek out and target a healthy diet, the obesity disease won’t be the one of the most popular diseases in the country.
How to Avoid Fast Food eating in 10 easy steps:
- Plan you day. If you know you will be out of home long time, cook something to go or grab many healthy snacks as you can. By taking this food with you, when you have the desire to eat something, you will eat healthy.
- Eat before going out. By eating before going out, you will become insensitive to all those fast food advertising campaigns.
- Talk about the good it is eating healthy to others, they will think about doing so and you would not have to experience the temptation of eating outside. Turn it into something Fashion.
- Keep busy. When your mind is busy, you wouldn’t be thinking about food.
- Be creative in the kitchen. When you experience new things at the kitchen, you become more attracted to cook.
- In-house family and friend activities. Instead of going out to dinner, plan family and friend activities in different houses. This will also, will strength relationships.
- Investigate. In every town you have cheap eating places that serve quality foods, go ahead and found it.
- Cook in advance. If you know you will have rushed days, cook and freeze serving’s portions for those days.
- Think healthier. Fast Food restaurant includes high levels of fat that are not healthy, MSG ingredients are used to flavor these menus and chemicals are used in the manufacture of these foods. Thinking about avoiding these elements will enforce you to eat healthier.
- We all want to save money. With the money you spend buying a combo in a fast food restaurant you can buy more food at the supermarket that will last longer.
In the memory of… Successful life of Fast Food Restaurants
Fast food were born in 1921, with the birth of “The White Castle restaurant in Wichita” at Kansas City.”
For the last decades, fast food restaurants have been the
first supply for the diet of Americans. With the knowledge of the harmful they
can cause, we now celebrate the departure of the most successful business
created by the American Society.
Now, we can enjoy of a healthy diet with no MSG Ingredients
and excess of fat. We will miss the convenience of the fast food, but be we are
aware of the health concerns it causes and now we will enjoy of a healthy life.
The funeral service will be held, by the moment that American
families acknowledge harmful offerings the restaurants are serving the society.
Braniac. (n.d.). How to Avoid Eating Fast Food | eHow.com. eHow | How to Videos, Articles & More – Trusted Advice for the Curious Life. Retrieved May 12, 2011, from http://www.ehow.com/how_4477996_avoid-eating-fast-food.html
Hwang, J., & Cranage, D. (2010). Customer Health Perceptions of Selected Fast-Food
Restaurants According to Their Nutritional Knowledge and Health Consciousness. Journal of Foodservice Business Research, 13(2), 68-84. Retrieved April 20, 2011, from the Academic Search Complete database.
Kara, A., Kaynak, E. and Kucukemiroglu, O. (1997) Marketing strategies for fast food
Restaurants: A customer view. British Food Journal 99:9, pp. 318-324.
Kozup, J. C., Creyer, E. H., & Burton, S. (2003). Making Healthful Food Choices: The Influence of Health Claims and Nutrition Information on Consumersâ€™ Evaluations of Packaged Food Products and Restaurant Menu Items. Journal of Marketing, 67(2), 19-34. Retrieved May 14, 2011, from http://www.atypon-link.com/AMA/doi/pdfplus/10.1509/jmkg.220.127.116.1108
Mardian, J. (n.d.). The Truth About Fast Food Restaurant Health Claims Â« Health In Motion. Health In Motion. Retrieved May 14, 2011, from http://healthinmotion.wordpress.com/2007/11/19/the-truth-about-fast-food-restaurant-health-claims/
Miss Farah . (n.d.). My son is counting calories!!. Retrieved May 14, 2011, from http://www.missfarah.com/index.php/page/7/
Rizaimy, S. M., Sabur Bin, I. A., Wan, M. S., Jamel, E. S., Abdul, J. M., & Wan, O. M.
(2011). Innovative Food and Its Effects toward Consumers’ Purchase Intention of Fast
Food Product. Canadian Social Science; 7(1), 110-118. Retrieved April 20, 2011, from
the EBSCO database.
Soriano, D. R. (2002). Customers’ Expectation Factors in Restaurants. International Journal of
Quality & Reliability Management, 19(8/9), 1055-1067
Story, M., Kaphingst, K. M., Robinson-O’Brien, R., & Glanz, K. (2008). Creating Healthy Food
and Eating Environments: Policy and Environmental Approaches. Public Health, 29, 253-272. Retrieved April 20, 2011, from
What exactly is MSG?. (n.d.). MSGTruth.org. Retrieved May 12, 2011, from http://www.msgtruth.org/whatisit.htm