America’s love affair with fast food is simply legendary. Be it burgers, pizzas, hot dogs or fries; there’s something about the fatty, greasy, and meaty food that has American taste buds salivating for more. Where else will you find jam-packed restaurants serving outrageously large pizzas and loaded hamburgers? Not to forget the supersized drinks and fries that almost always tag along.
Fast food, no doubt, is a huge part of American food culture, one that cuts across all demographics. But over the years, public attitudes have also changed, as more and more people focus on their health and fitness. So how has this shift affected fast food consumption in the country, or more importantly, has it changed at all? Piplsay delves into the world of junk to find these answers*.
The thing about fast food is it is fast, and that seems to be a good reason why people prefer it over cooking at home. While eating out has always been a popular activity, the trend has picked up over the years as Americans get busier working long hours, socializing, or following their hobbies and passions. Money usually spent on groceries is fast filling up restaurant coffers, which are dedicating more space for drive-ins and takeout to cater to the rush. Today, ordering online or swinging by a food truck has become somewhat of a ritual, especially with Generation Z who are always on the move.
No wonder then, that, despite growing awareness and health campaigns, public perception about junk food consumption has not changed much. About 76% of people still believe that Americans consume a lot of fried foods. That almost 4 out of 10 Americans eat fast food regularly confirms this belief. The love for junk food is so compelling that people consume it despite worrying about its health impacts. Not surprisingly, only 31% of Americans seem excited about the healthier alternatives that most chains have begun to serve. All in a bid to counter growing protests over their high calorie, low nutrition offerings.
Leading the hunger race is Chick-fil-a, the chicken specialty chain that has grown to become the third largest restaurant chain in the country today. Close on its heels is McDonald’s, which remains the most convenient option for many. Pizzas, on the other hand, seem to be losing their pizzazz, as brands like Pizza Hut and Dominos fail to make it to the top of the list. Whatever the choice, one thing is for sure, Americans love grabbing a quick bite. It’s an obsession that may alarm others but not Americans, who seem to be simply lovin’ it!
* Based on 23,700 online responses