Market Analysis Summary

Market Analysis Summary
During the past five years, the Fast Food Restaurants industry experienced a slowdown due to changing consumer tastes and a struggling economy. Over the five years to 2013, industry revenue has grown at a sluggish average annual rate of 1.0% to $191.0 billion. After revenue declined 0.6% in 2009 to $181.1 billion, however, it began its recovery, climbing at an annualized rate of 1.6% from year-end 2009 through 2012. In 2013, revenue is expected to grow an additional 0.5%.
As disposable income decreased due to the recession, consumers cut back on luxuries like eating out. Compounding the resulting decline in demand, consumers also became increasingly health conscious during the period. While major fast-food retailers have responded by expanding the number of healthy options on their menus, the general trend toward health awareness has hurt demand for the typically greasy food provided by the these restaurants. In response to weak market conditions, the number of establishments has stayed relatively flat over the five years to 2013, growing at a projected average annual rate of 1.3% to 232,611. (Fast Food Restaurants in the US. Rep. IBISWorld US, Feb. 2013. Web. Apr. 2013.)
Getting a quick bite is associated with convenience and speed of service—in essence, it implies consumer motion. When in motion (“on the go”), consumers will likely desire foods that keep them in motion, not sap them of it. For this reason, food health attributes such as low fat and smaller portions, as well just something “healthy” (either a healthy meal item or something with fruits and vegetables) become more important.
According to a 2011 Technomic survey, when asked if they had eaten a healthful meal during their most recent visit to a fast-food restaurant, only 13% of those surveyed said yes.
However, consumers are interested in making healthy lifestyle choices, and—to varying degrees—they utilize a variety of ways to do so. This tendency toward health appears...