Sometimes, you’re busy. Sometimes, you need a little nourishment while you’re rushing from one errand to the other. In those times, fast food is the go-to choice.
You’re not alone in wanting a fast food option that you can pick up on the run. The annual revenue for fast food restaurants in the United States alone generates $208 billion annually. That’s a large chunk of consumer change. Typically, when you envision where this money is going, you think of hamburgers and fried chicken. However, there’s a new trend (a healthier trend) that’s getting consumers excited – fresh and fast food.
The Changing Consumer Landscape
Without question, the consumer food consumption landscape is changing. Calories are now being published on more menus, spreading awareness about food choices to consumers. Many franchises and restaurants are working behind-the-scenes to develop healthier food choices. All of that has led to a movement toward fresher food choices available at these restaurants.
What’s Fresh in the Fast Food Industry
Both the regular fast food franchise suspects and new up-and-coming franchises have taken heed of consumer preferences and made the switch to fresher foods.
Pizza Hut has worked to improve their health standards by removing trans fat, artificial flavors, colors, and monosodium glutamate from products.
Taco Bell has started simplifying ingredients and offering vegetarian options to consumers, causing them to be certified by the American Vegetarian Association.
McDonald's has also switched to healthier food products in kids meals, offering fruit and yogurt instead of fries. They’ve also announced that they will be purchasing chicken raised without antibiotics by 2017.
These fast food franchises have followed the trend toward freshness, but there are other fast food franchises that have formed specifically to offer fresher options to their customers. Although some of these are still growing, their track record so far looks promising. Let’s take a closer look at a few of the fresh food franchises popping up.
Freshii is a food franchise with a simple goal – “Eat. Energize.” That’s it. But, you can’t energize if you’re only offering unhealthy food options, so Freshii focuses on systematizing healthier, fresher choices for their consumers. Options include fresh salads, fresh yogurt with fresh fruit toppings, and more. Even their stores are built to inspire fresher air by only operating with eco-friendly materials and minimal energy consumption. It’s a unique take on the fast food industry.
Fresh Vending Machines
When you think of vending machines, you might not think of freshness right off the bat. After all, how can you keep hundreds of machines stocked with the freshest ingredients night and day? It’s a logistics nightmare, but it’s one that many franchises have figured out.
Fresh vending franchises, such as Naturals2Go and KarmaBox Vending have found a way to offer healthier, fresher snacks to consumers on the run. These, and other vending franchises, work with franchisees to source healthier products, such as from local sources or those with proven healthy inventory standards.
Fresh is the Future
Before you dive into your next food franchise, think carefully about the type of freshness being offered. Consumers are demanding it, which is why so many food franchises are heeding these requests and jumping on board the healthy food train.
Susan Payton is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, a marketing firm specializing in content writing and social media management. She’s written three business books, including How to Get More Customers With Press Releases, and frequently blogs about small business and marketing on sites including Forbes, AllBusiness, The Marketing Eggspert Blog, and Tweak Your Biz. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.