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The “fast and healthy” restaurant revolution.

October 24, 2018

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Over the past decade, our culture’s attitudes towards food and nutrition have shifted dramatically towards healthy living and prevention. With growing rates of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity, the focus on healthy and ethically-sourced ingredients have influenced the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) industry to embrace these new demands.

In the past, the concept of grabbing a nutritious meal from a QSR or drive-thru was unheard of!
Today, people are becoming more and more conscious of the impact their diets have on overall health, as well as the environment.

As nutrition becomes as important as speed and convenience, the fast-food industry has introduced the use of cleaner ingredients while finding innovative ways to offer healthier and more environmentally-friendly food options.

With the final months of 2018 around the corner, let’s take a look at how changing demographics, company transparency and plant-centric eating will shape the fast-food industry in 2019:

CHANGING DEMOGRAPHICS:

Behavioral research studies have reported that Millennial’s and aging Baby Boomers take a much more proactive approach towards healthy living.

With higher levels of education and the internet at our fingertips, health-conscious consumers are taking the time to research and compare their dining options before they order. Not only are they willing to pay higher prices for quality and nutrition, but they are also looking for brands that support and align with their ethical values as well.

As these trends continue to grow, the Quick Service Restaurant industry has seen a drastic increase in “better for you” options and places such as Basil Box, Impact Kitchen and, Assembli to name a few are popping up all over the city to compete with the traditional model and, offering fresh healthy meals that are good for you and taste delicious.

In response to this shift, we have seen big chains such as McDonald’s, Burger King and A&W rework their menu options to keep up with the growing demands. These changes have included anything from an increase in vegetarian options, fresher ingredients, antibiotic-free meats, alternative dairy products, a decrease in artificial ingredients and more!

COMPANY TRANSPARENCY:

Today’s consumers want to know exactly what they are eating. They also want to know where their food comes from, how it was grown or raised, if their workers were treated ethically, whether the ingredients are organic, cage free, and the list goes on.

Essentially, the more details a restaurant can provide about their menu items, the higher their chances of gaining customer trust and loyalty. This encourages consumers to become more aware of their dietary decisions through upfront transparency and choice.

If these cultural trends were not persuasive enough, the FDA has also introduced new regulations that require large restaurant chains to display calorie counts beside all of their menu items.

Unfortunately, this new approach has created an uncomfortable reality for our previously-loved comfort foods. As consumers become more aware of the health risks of poor dietary choices, the entire industry has been pushed to find new solutions!

Quick Service Restaurants are now revolutionizing their approach to fast-food with a wider variety in healthier, ethically-sourced menu items to satisfy modern demands.

PLANT-CENTRIC EATING:

The latest buzzword within the food industry is “plant based”.

While consumers become more concerned with health and environmental ethics, we are seeing about a third of the population either limiting their meat and poultry consumption or eliminating it altogether.

In addition to the list of health differences, it has also been proven that meat-eaters will typically leave behind double the environmental footprint compared to their vegetarian counterparts.

As a result of this, we have watched the food industry re-invent traditional favorites with a brand-new spin. From veggie burgers and dairy-free ice-cream to vegan meat products that mimic the flavor, texture and bleeding qualities of real meat – the industry is without-a-doubt changing.

In 2019, we can expect to see more plant-based menu items that include kale, seaweed, zucchini noodles, turmeric, coconut milk and more. As these options are no longer reserved for the vegetarian diet, the fast-food industry can now play a very important role in supporting the nutritional needs of our communities. But, don’t get us wrong, we still love our meats and nothing wrong with few slices of bacon from time to time or a mouth watering steak.

ARE YOU INTERESTED IN BUILDING OR RENOVATING YOUR RESTAURANT? GET IN TOUCH WITH OUR BUILD IT BY DESIGN PROFESSIONALS TO GET STARTED! CONTACT (905) 696-0486 OR EMAIL [email protected] FOR MORE DETAILS.

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