All such food is categorized as fast food which can be prepared and served quickly. Restaurants and kiosks provide fast food with precooked or preheated ingredients and usually served at a packaged form (Pollan, 2009). In the beginning, American hamburger and fries was considered as the traditional fast food but now the field has been widely diversified and food like pizzas, fish and chips, burgers from McDonalds and Kentucky Fried Chicken etc. are all considered fast food.
Fast food market has shown an enormous and steady growth. In 2006 alone the market has reached to $102.4 billion with an annual growth rate of 4.8% (Adams, 2007). Fast food chains like McDonalds operate in more than 126 ...view middle of the document...
First of all, every culture has its own values, philosophies, and the way to react to the things occurring in their lives. These reactions depend upon the culture they belong too. In present family structure and busy life it has been observed that the increasing communication deficit between parents and children has created a gulf between parents and children. This changed life style, especially in low-income and single-parent families, has compelled the children to take unhealthy and junk food more often than required (Ritzer, 2000).
Advertising also played a major role in increasing the fast food popularity in America. According to National Cancer Institute, “Commercial advertisers have learned that a consistent and prominent presence in the marketplace is key to achieving and holding market share” (National Cancer Institute, 2000). Statistics revealed that in 2004 the total expenditure of different food items including fast food restaurants was approximately $11.26 billion.
Fast food advertisers target ethnic minorities directly through their own media outlets and programs. Food items which are advertised for ethnic minorities are usually unbalanced and unhealthy as compared to the food advertised for general audience (Reyes, 2005). Research conducted in 2005 depicted that more than 52 percent of food items advertisement published in Hispanic fashion and social magazines were advertised unhealthy and unbalanced food as compared to 29 percent such advertisements published in general magazines (Duerksen et. al., 2005).
Fast food items advertising usually target children in order to create and establish brand loyalty at an early age (Wiecha et al., 2006). Among the six brands which have enjoyed very strong recognition in children, four are related to food, i.e. Cheerios, McDonald’s, Pop-Tarts, and Coke (Comiteau, 2003). These companies relied on the fact that the children would emotionally connected to these companies even in their adulthood (Comiteau, 2003). Nevertheless, recent research shows that consumers prefer to buy fast food from supermarkets. Because they have the perception that supermarkets provide healthier food options ( Advertising and marketing very significantly influence the buying behavior of people and the notion cannot be rejected in totality that frequent use of this unhealthy food is a major cause of increasing obesity. According to a study, television advertisements and television viewing is directly associated with popularity of junk food (Bowman et al., 2004).
Advantages of using fast food
The basic and most obvious advantage of fast food is its cost and speed. Fast food is very easy and quick to prepare and serve. As discussed above, the number of single parent household is continuously increasing in United States. Such single parents not only have to work to earn a respectable living but also have to prepare food for the family. For such persons fast food is an easy and cost effective solution.
Fast food not...