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Fast food growth

2006-11-03 16:31:01.387614+00 by Dan Lyke 5 comments

Michael Bauer: Between Meals mentioned that the Nation's Restaurant News Consumer Trends reports that:

During the year that ended June 2006, consumers with annual household incomes of more than $75,000 spent $796 per capita at quick-service restaurants and $790 per capita at full-service restaurants.

The conclusion of the article is that high end consumers are now spending more at fast food joints than regular restaurants. At first you might think this is somewhat strange, but it turns out that the super high-end "El Bulli" restaurant in Spain serves a "Kellog's Paella":

El Bulli has been voted best restaurant in the world by Restaurant magazine, while Arthur Lubow, the food critic of The New York Times, hailed a meal there as a gastronomes once-before-you-die experience. Lubows favourite was Kelloggs Paella, made with Rice Krispies, shrimp heads and vanilla-scented potato mash.

So I think it's only a matter of time before we start seeing McDonald's branding on Michelin 3-star establishments.

[ related topics: Food Current Events Consumerism and advertising McDonald's ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2006-11-03 19:14:02.60471+00 by: meuon

It's what the upcoming generation knows and expects in a taste.. they don't know what real food is, or how to cook.

Nancy and I eschew fast food places except in weird time crunch emergencies.. and find good real food is available in real restuarants for the same, and often less money. I think of it as cheap health insurance.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-11-03 19:14:03.92722+00 by: ebradway

Evidently McDonalds is trying to move a little more upscale - adding WiFi and comforts like couches and fireplaces... McCafe... So what we used to consider "fast food" is now becoming something different... Kind of reminds me of how McKee Foods invented the Little Debbie "Big" cakes in response to the booming economy of the 1990s. Little Debbie's sell BETTER when the economy does poorly. They needed something that seemed worthy of spending more. THe big cakes only cost a few percent more to make and distribute but they were priced almost 300% more.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-11-03 21:29:25.412879+00 by: Diane Reese [edit history]

It's what the upcoming generation knows and expects in a taste.. they don't know what real food is, or how to cook.

Yes, it's an unfortunate trend, but don't paint the entire generation with the same brush. Some of them were required to be at our sides in the kitchen as they grew up. I give my kids a copy of the '70s edition of Joy of Cooking and a set of decent knives, along with "Mom's Greatest Hits" cookbook of home faves, when they leave home for college. They've been tagging along to the farmer's market and the grocery store since they were infants; giving them specific "find this" assignments in the store and showing them the nutrition facts on packages have kept them involved, and at the farmer's market, I hand them a 20 and a cloth bag and tell them to get some good food... and they always do. (Plus it's nice to have big strong teenaged guys to carry the grocery bags.) One of my kids specializes in banana nut bread and chicken cacciatore, the other in Chinese wok dishes and baked potatoes and steamed vegetables (broccoli and asparagus are the favorites). Both will tell you they grew up with great home cooking, although both enjoy a good restaurant meal. They know what real food is, and they know how to cook, or at least they have a start on it. So yeah, at least there are a few in their generation who are aware of real food. (OK, go ahead and call me especially conscientious and aware, I can take it. ;-)

#Comment Re: made: 2006-11-04 04:33:47.875809+00 by: ebradway

I was raised on hamburger helper. My mom never baked. Now I recommend cookbooks to her...

On my own, I learned how to use a steamer, a rice cooker, a crock pot, etc. I also have expanded into live foods and vegan dishes.

What most people, regardless of generation, don't know how to do is make a simple meal from rice, dried beans and fresh veggies.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-11-04 06:04:58.25888+00 by: DaveP

Are you sure the data doesn't mean that fast food prices have gone up?

Plus, the Kellog's Paella sounds like something I might try to cook, myself.