In a recent Forbes Magazine article, Hank Cardello, contends that fast food restaurants can no longer ignore the public’s desire for healthy food. Cardello knows a thing or two about the topic. He is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and author of the book “Stuffed: An Insider’s Look at Who’s (Really) Making America Fat.”
Even though America has a serious excess weight issue, several recent studies indicate that a growing number of people are concerned about healthier eating. The Natural Marketing Institute found that 52 percent of consumers are actively concerned about the health value of food, and would make healthy choices if it was easy and cost competitive with less healthy choices. That is a huge number of people, and the fast food industry likely will not be able to ignore them.
Cardello goes on to provide restaurant chains with three suggestions:
Suggestion 1: Better understand the changing health attitudes of consumers. Most consumers, even those who want to eat healthier, are sensitive to price, so provide healthier choices that cost the same as other choices on the menu.
Suggestion 2: Adopt a stealth health strategy. This means not making a big deal about the health benefits of certain meal choices, but instead simply make healthier choices flavorful, present them well and use quality ingredients.
Suggestion 3: Market healthier menu items more aggressively. Make ads and menus that feature healthy alternatives look every bit as inviting as the rest of the menu. Grow the healthier items by investing in marketing them creatively.
It is Cardello’s belief that fast food restaurants cannot continue to grow through cost cutting and lower menu prices any more. To be successful, they will have to provide healthier choices in order to attract and retain larger market share.
If Cardello is correct, that is good news for consumers. And it’s good news for those Americans that struggle with weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Time will tell, we certainly hope he is correct.
Remember, healthy choices you make each day can transform your family for generations! What choices will you make today?
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