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The fast food industry growth statistics that should shape your advertising strategies

Fast food is a high growth industry. Currently, the US market for fast food is worth about $200 billion and nearly half of all consumers get take out or fast food at least once a week. However, certain segments of the fast food industry are growing much faster than others. Understanding fast food industry growth statistics can help you create advertising strategies that will resonate with your target audience—and expand your market share.

growth statistics for the fast food industryIt must also be noted that despite the fact that certain segments of the industry are experiencing high growth, revenue is not keeping up. The average revenue for QSR brands is only expected to increase about 2% annually through 2020. In order to not only grow but also see a profit, fast food competitors must acknowledge hot trends in the QSR industry, like healthier foods, kid-focused dining, and increased proximity marketing opportunities.

Fast Food Industry Growth Statistics: Healthier, Family-Focused Menus Are a Must

In a single year, the fast food industry as a whole reduced overall menu calories by 12% simply by making minor changes to the ingredients that went into their foods. Many consumers are seeking healthier fast food alternatives, but that does not mean every QSR company must switch from fried foods to salads. Instead, fast food chains should make small, incremental changes, such as eliminating artificial coloring or frying in canola, sunflower, or safflower oil instead of corn-based oil.

Once a QSR has implemented even a small change, they should draw consumer attention to it. McDonald’s has provided an excellent example of this in their recent initiatives. The company has eliminated chicken treated with certain antibiotics, stopped using buns that include high fructose corn syrup, and removed artificial preservatives from Chicken McNuggets and certain breakfast foods. These changes increase the healthiness and appeal of the foods without changing the way they taste and are prime examples of changes that most QSR brands can use to leverage the growth in demand for healthier items, without eliminating menu favorites.

The key takeaways are:

  • Stay ahead of consumer concerns: Consumers’ concerns regarding health change in response to newly published and popularized discoveries. The issues with antibiotic-treated animals, for example, became a major concern when scientists reported that use of these antibiotics could create medicine-resistant strains of bacteria in humans. McDonald’s recognized antibiotic use in meat as a growing concern and took steps to eliminate the issue.
  • Advertise the difference: McDonald’s makes a point of prominently advertising any healthy updates to their menu. This allows them to capitalize on the improvements as a selling point without having to become a strictly health-focused chain.
  • Market to parents: Children make up a large percentage of fast food sales, with one in three kids age 2 to 19 eating at a QSR daily. Focusing on healthier fare is a good way to appeal to parents so they’ll be comfortable visiting your locations.

These three tips allow you to put the focus on health, even when your menu items might not be considered traditional health food. It’s a ‘better for you’ approach that, when coupled with a QSR mobile advertising campaign, can help you become the go-to choice when consumers are deciding where to eat.

Go Mobile for Fast Food Industry Growth

Mobile is an incredibly powerful communicator for QSR brands. It’s becoming increasingly integrated into the entire purchase process, from how consumers decide where to eat to what they order and how they pay. Mobile apps are a way to reach your consumers while they’re on-the-go; i.e. in the moment that they decide to pick up dinner on the way home. Here are a few ways that mobile is becoming a major aspect of the QSR experience:

  • Shopping apps: Consumers make QSR decisions on impulse, so it’s important to reach them in the right moment. Shopping apps allow your company to reach out to consumers while they’re traveling or out and about. You can send them branded messages when they’re close to one of your locations, letting them know about deals, events, special offers, and more.
  • Mobile ordering: Mobile ordering is becoming a major part of the consumer purchase journey. Recent figures indicate that 70% of consumers have used a mobile ordering system to make a purchase for quick pick-up at a QSR locations.
  • Digital wallets: More consumers are using mobile payments through digital wallets to complete their purchases. This is a rapidly growing area of opportunity for many QSR brands as it speeds up checkout while also allowing brands to manage and balance registers more efficiently.

Mobile has become a major benefit to the QSR industry and has had an undeniable impact on current fast food industry growth statistics. Consumers are using it to locate the restaurants they want to go to, order menu items, and even pay for them. This is allowing the QSR sector to deliver products to consumers faster than ever.

That speed doesn’t require skimping on quality, though. Consumers today want healthier foods with less artificial ingredients. They want to be able to quickly feed their families without having to worry about the nutritional content of the food or the potential for added chemicals. And, they want to do it all with ease. Mobile messages that focus on your brand’s health factors can combine current fast food industry growth statistics and trends to improve the likelihood of conversion.

Shopkick is a shopping app that offers our partners the ability to seamlessly take advantage of current trends and statistics in a way that engages consumers. For more information on partnering with us to deliver your brand’s message, contact our team today.

Image courtesy EvgeniiAnd