Beware Of This Fast Food Marketing Ploy

I’m a fan of fast food.  We grew up on hot dogs and top ramen. Our monthly “dine out” night would usually take us to McDonalds or Burger King. Well, fast food providers have really done well in the past 50 years and have fine-tuned their marketing schemes to milk you for a few more pennies on each visit…

I actually came across this image on StumbleUpon last week and got to thinking about it. How ‘hooked’ do you need to be on a product to actually just order without thinking anymore?

The main purpose of fast food is to get something quick and easy. Their marketing gurus know what people are going to the fast food joint for – something quick and something easy. Additionally, people don’t think about this tactic. People are thinking about getting their food FAST.

In so doing, they get you into thinking you’re getting a better deal by ordering 1 portion. Think again.  Apparently they can whip up a better deal with the cardboard manufacturer to toss out another package than they would to add another portion or 2 in the same package. deal.jpgCrafty, but deceptive.

Fast food chains spend a large amount of marketing to get the attention of children.

People form their eating habits as children so they try to nurture clients as youngsters.

It’s very important that the fast food companies make sure that their fast food meals for children are healthier.

Parents think that chicken meals are healthier than burgers, but they are not since they are fried.

Consumers are programmed into thinking that bigger size means bigger value. Larger portions are presented as a bargain for consumers because they’re relatively cheap for restaurants to offer. Food costs less than other operating costs such as rent, staff, and equipment.

Some Fast Food Fun Facts

Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal (2001) is a book by investigative journalist Eric Schlosser; some of the main points are as follows:

* This year Americans will spend over $110 billion on fast food more than they’ll spend on movies, books, magazines, newspapers, videos, and recorded music combined.

* Every day about one quarter of the U.S. population eats fast food.

* Roughly 12% of all American workers have worked at McDonald’s.

* The golden arches are now more widely recognized than the Christian cross.

* Children often recognize the McDonald’s logo before they recognize their own name.

* American children now get about one quarter of their total vegetable servings in the form of potato chips and French fries.

* The typical teenage boy in the United States now gets about 10% of his daily calories from soda.

* The rate of obesity among American children has doubled since the late 1970s.

* A fast food soda that sells for $1.29 costs the restaurant about ten cents, a markup of more than 1200 percent.

* McDonald’s is now the nation’s largest purchaser of beef, pork, and potatoes. It is the second-largest purchaser of chicken in the U.S.

* Hundreds of local slaughterhouses used to supply the United States with beef; today thirteen large slaughterhouses supply most of the nation’s beef.

* A typical fast food hamburger contains meat from dozens or even hundreds of cattle.

* Because fast food is so highly processed, much of its flavor is destroyed, so the tastes of most fast food are manufactured at a series of special chemical plants in New Jersey.

* Chicken McNuggets contain beef additives, while McDonalds French fries derive some of their flavor from “animal products.”

Conclusion

I’m not going to get on the high horse and claim I never have and never will eat fast food again. I enjoy it as well. I don’t make a habit of it, and likely will still consider mixing in a “super size” every so often.

I’m just saying to keep an eye open as to what is around the corner because what you buy isn’t always necessarily the best bang for your buck. Search the menu over if you’re crunching the numbers – you’ll likely find a sly way of milking a few more cents out of your wallet.

Filed Under: Budgetingfinancial education

  • http://mrsmicah.com Mrs. Micah

    Every few months I either get the urge or am on the run and end up eating fast food. It’s designed to taste good and it really does! But when I compare the cost of even a cheap meal at Taco Bell (their soft tacos and McDonald’s fries are my two weaknesses) with something homemade, homemade wins.

    But, like chocolate, it’s fun to eat now and then!

    Mrs. Micah’s last blog post..Get Better Customer Services by Leveraging Blogging and Twitter

  • http://steadfastfinances.com Matt @ Steadfast Finances

    Nice post – those stats are pretty scary.

    I saw an analyst who covers McDonald’s once say that they could break even on their financial obligations just by selling iced sweet tea because the markup is so outrageous.

  • http://www.cbb.com Batista

    I’m a fan of fast food. We grew up on hot dogs and top ramen. Our monthly “dine out” night would usually take us to McDonalds or Burger King.
    The main purpose of fast food is to get something quick and easy. Their marketing gurus know what people are going to the fast food joint for – something quick and something easy. Additionally, people don’t think about this tactic. People are thinking about getting their food FAST.

  • http://www.cbb.com George

    I’m a fan of fast food. We grew up on hot dogs and top ramen. Our monthly “dine out” night would usually take us to McDonalds or Burger King.
    The main purpose of fast food is to get something quick and easy. Their marketing gurus know what people are going to the fast food joint for – something quick and something easy. Additionally, people don’t think about this tactic. People are thinking about getting their food FAST.

  • http://www.cbb.com George

    The main purpose of fast food is to get something quick and easy. Their marketing gurus know what people are going to the fast food joint for – something quick and something easy. Additionally, people don’t think about this tactic. People are thinking about getting their food FAST.
    Consumers are programmed into thinking that bigger size means bigger value. Larger portions are presented as a bargain for consumers because they’re relatively cheap for restaurants to offer. Food costs less than other operating costs such as rent, staff, and equipment.

  • saynora

    The fast food items taste much better than what we have in home. Thats the reason why people mainly youngsters prefer to fast food items. They never think about the harm caused by these items. What they think is the taste and they will loose control. An ordinary meals will give you 50% more energy than fast foods. Most of these items are fried, which can cause severe health problems. Those who thinks about the taste of these fast food items will have to taste several tablets also in their future.

  • http://feedproxy.google.com/FreeFromBroke FFB

    I too grew up on fast food but I’ve curbed eating it to almost nothing nowadays. It’s amazing that once you stop eating fast food for a while you really grow out of wanting it. Fast food burgers are nasty to me now (though fries do smell good).

    It has a guise of being ok for you but it really isn’t. I read Fast Food Nation and it really opened my eyes as to what the food actually was.

    FFB’s last blog post..Never Mind A New Economic Stimulus Package – Save Yourself!

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  • http://myinvestingblog.com Jessie

    Just as long as you don’t make it a habit it’s always gonna work for your good! For a once in a while treat, fast food can be okay, but for a steady diet it’s without doubt not a good idea. Watch your waistlines!!

    Jessie’s last blog post..You Want To Retire Someday – How Much Should You Save Today and Should You Bother?

  • http://gadgetwatcher.blogspot.com/ Sumaiya

    I saw an analyst… who’s markup was really outrageous. Nice to reed the post

    Sumaiya’s last blog post..Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1 – Your world. Your way.

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