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    Tom Dougherty CEO, Stealing Share

    Tom Dougherty is the President and CEO of Stealing Share, Inc., and has helped national and global brands such as Lexus, IKEA and Tide steal market share over his 25-year career.

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The big fast food contenders are in for a rocky future

I can’t remember the last time I had a burger from a fast food joint.

It’s not that I don’t like burgers. I love them. It’s just that I’d rather not put garbage into my body.

Not surprisingly, more and more people in America are sharing these sentiments.

Earlier this week, the financial analysts over at Janney Capital Markets predicted that by 2020 the likes of Burger King and Wendy’s will fall from their coveted top-five position of fast food chains. (Currently, these two hold the fourth and fifth spots, while McDonalds sits on top.)

Take a look at Janney’s analysis:

originalThis is a fascinating breakdown. As I see it, the strongest brands in the category are rising to the top like tiny bubbles in water, while those avoiding change are hurting.

I believe that many folks are just like me in that they would rather a healthier alternative to the number five combo from BK. It’s part of the reason why McDonalds remains successful – its new healthy options, plus general top of mind awareness, keep them, predictably, at the top. Yet, more and more people are also seeking the Panera and Subway’s of the world over the fast food grease. I know I am, as I generally believe these options are infinitely better for my body.

Now, I am not suggesting that the fast food restaurants go whole hog to the healthy route. In fact, our own research has shown that the healthier fare is an attraction that brings customers to the restaurant. But they still end up buying the fattier choices.

After all this, I’m reminded when we reached out to Burger King once. At the time, our introductory letter was returned to us, unopened, and flagged for solicitation. What a shame too, as our expert advice had the potential to prepare them to fight. Instead, it is falling meekly by the wayside, watching the other chains it pass by.

One thought on “The big fast food contenders are in for a rocky future

  1. The big chains, though, have a permission problem. They might have healthier fare (even Burger King does) but many may not give them permission to be preferred.

    It’s a tough climb, but I think there are other ways to be preferred. You can’t out-menu your way out of the problem.

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