An evolving menu

By | Food & Drink
Healthier fast food options. Credit@HideyaHamanovaviaflickr: credit@jessicapenglerviaflickr: credit@lovelimzyviaflickr

Since the 1950s, the fast food industry, such as chain restaurants including McDonalds, Burger King and KFC, has proliferated across the world, becoming a $660.5 billion dollar industry as of 2013. It’s motives, solely due to accommodating a modernising climate; as more people started working, including women and more youths, ensured it became a convenient, efficient option when acquiring something to eat.

The fast food industry is working to adjust its menu to accommodate a rise in awareness eating. Fast food- known for its efficacy- has started offering a healthier range of ingredients that may signify an upwards spiral on the menu mart.

Interior-wise, fast food restaurants are putting aside their ‘in-and-out’ mentality, suggesting that perhaps places such as McDonalds have become areas of socialisation and bonding. Regardless of the Drive Thru option, the restaurants themselves have large numbers of seating arrangements and an appealing interior, wide enough to accommodate enough people; as well as being an efficient option for those who require a short amount of time to dedicate towards meals. As well as a productive environment which encourages interaction while eating, something that has become more present now than ever before, fast food drink options are veering towards juices, water, smoothies and milkshakes. From mango and pineapple to strawberry and banana, providing nutrition in the form of vitamins, water and calcium; more beneficial than a fizzy drink. The wide variety of smoothies and milkshakes provide a genuine choice, with a range of delicious flavours.

Healthier drink options such as water are beneficial in fast food chains. Credit@J.Malleysmith

Healthier drink options such as water are beneficial in fast food chains. Credit@J.Malleysmith

The introduction of salads within restaurants such as McDonalds and KFC may provide a more productive option than simply ordering a fried option. With some restaurants offering a nutrition guide online such as the McDonalds’ grilled chicken and bacon salad (optioned as 190 Kcal) it is easier to see how the menus of these places are becoming more versatile, with a wider range as well as an understanding towards those with allergies, and concern for ingredients. The rise in vegetarian options manifest in the veggie and bean burgers, as well as the salads in Subway, provides a more understanding and healthier range of choices. It may be clearer than ever, to see how fast food is rapidly becoming a more understanding, accommodating option in the eyes of a more health conscious nation.

Menus for children are quickly becoming more viable and productive, with fruit and vegetable portions, juice and milkshake options as well as fish fingers instead of simple chicken nuggets. From McDonald’s carrot slices, to apple fries in Burger King, both advocating a five-a-day lifestyle, it is a vast improvement, and a more beneficial option.
Similarly, KFC’s flame grilled chicken has become a headway start away from frying and towards grilling, so that the fat falls to the bottom of the pan or oven, and the chicken contains less calories and energy. While this may be a slower start towards a healthier means of cooking meat, it is easy enough to see how the new development of more productive ingredients in fast food menus aim to soon branch out into the meat, instead of remaining manifest within alternate options. Already, McDonalds is using British beef, and 100% of it within its meat in the UK.

Fast food restaurants becoming better, year by year, more conscious of their impact on customers who want efficiency to go hand in hand with health. Perhaps, yet to be the pinnacle of safe and productive eating, it is easy to see, however, that fast food is raising its head in the competitive food mart and attempting to make a change.

What healthier aspects are evolving in the fast food industry?

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