More so than ever before, people around the world have begun placing a larger emphasis on their health and are striving to improve their overall well-being. For many, this includes switching partially or completely to plant-based diets. Many consumers that are on the go, however, and do not have time to prepare meals or dine in at a restaurant. They still need a convenient and fast option to fit into their schedule that will also allow them to stick to their health-conscious kick. Just as any other trend, the change in people’s daily eating habits is poised to markedly change the fast-food industry as more American consumers are demanding that their favorite fast-food chains offer calorie conscious meals and fresh produce.
A survey conducted by Deloitte in 2017 found that 83% of respondents said that typical fast-food chains did not offer enough health-conscious options and over 75% stated that they were beginning to develop healthy eating habits. As the demand for healthy fast-food options increases, a number of new “health based” fast food chains have opened their doors around the country aiming to capitalize on this opportunity. These companies, such as Dig Inn, Sweetgreen, By Chloe, and Salad and Go, are offering affordable and convenient dishes that are more nutritious than those offered at places such as Taco Bell or Wendy’s. “We’re trying to take these price points and get them compatible with – or lower than – traditional drive-through fast food, but make them organic, large portions, and accessible to everyone,” says Roushan Christofellis, cofounder of Salad and Go.
Not only has this trend caused a number of new businesses to open up, but it has also pushed current fast-food giants to incorporate healthy options into their current menus and partner with companies that allow them to do so. Fast food chains such as Carl’s Jr. and White Castle have partnered with the company Impossible Foods in order to offer plant-based burgers. Other chains such as Dunkin’ and Del Taco have implemented plant-based meals through Beyond Meat. However, the recent adoption of plant-based foods by both Pizza Hut and McDonald’s, two of the most well-known fast-food chains, has taken the recognition of plant-based products to the next level.
With consumer’s health front and center for fast-food restaurants around the world, the industry as we know it is set to undergo a transformation. New health-focused franchises are opening up and current fast-food establishments are adding healthy options to their menus as consumer demand shifts towards a healthier lifestyle. Will you be taking part in this health trend that is shaping the fast-food industry?