North America: Key Player in the Fast Food Market


Published Date : Jul 14, 2014

Fast Food Industry

Fast food refers to food which can be quickly prepared and served. The fast food industry caters to consumers who are traveling and need food which can be served quickly. Many restaurants in this industry are actually a part of a large chain. This industry has been successful financially and grown by leaps and bounds from where it started.

Most historians agree that the first fast food chain was White Castle. It was formed on the west coast of the U.S. in the year 1916. However, the market for fast food didn’t really start to take off till McDonalds gained popularity during the late 1940s and early 1950s. Since then many others have started to mimic the business model of this successful chain. Many of these businesses actually became big enough to form large chain of restaurants themselves.

Traits of Chain Restaurants

Some of the traits of the fast food chain restaurants are their focus on food which can be easily prepared and served. Such restaurants have a menu which is carefully designed with the purpose of being able to cook the food easily without requiring actual chefs to do the job. Hence, these restaurants have ingredients which are pre-packaged and the cooking equipment is such that it is very simple to use. These restaurants also strive to maintain total consistency so a consumer will always experience the same taste for a particular food item regardless of which chain restaurant he/she visits.

Fast food restaurants are also sometimes referred as Quick Service Restaurants (QSR). The global fast food market [http://www.marketresearchreports.biz/analysis/207863] by distribution is segmented into Quick Service Restaurants, street vendors, and others. Hence, the fast food restaurants or vendors focus on serving food which is easy to eat on the move. Consumer will often eat fast food while driving or walking. Hence, easy handling of the food is an important aspect and appeal of fast food.

The different types of fast foods include burger, sandwich, pizza, chicken wings, donuts, French fries, tacos, hot dogs, etc. These are easy to handle and are commonly found on the fast food menus.

Market Outlook

There are many factors which drive this market. Easy availability, affordable competitive prices, easy to handle, and quick serving time are some factors influencing the growth of the fast food market. However, one factor inhibiting the growth of this market is the fact that fast food is blamed for increase in conditions like obesity and other lifestyle-related conditions. According to many nutritionists fast food is harming people’s health. Fast food is high in calories which is why it is blamed for weight gain problems. Due to this reason, there is a growing demand for healthy fast food. It is predicted that in future healthy fast food sector in this market will become lucrative.

According to geography the global fast food industry is divided into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Rest of the World. The market is dominated by North America. Concepts such as food-on-the-go and drive-thru are common in North American market. But, in Europe people prefer to have a conversation while eating. Some of the key players in this industry are McDonalds, Burger King, KFC, Dominos, and Pizza Hut. Other than these dominating key players, a large number of local fast food vendors are present around the world.

Asia-Pacific and Rest of the World are now becoming the fastest growing market. This is due to elements such as large population share, increasing demand for western food, favorable demographics, and increasing disposable income. These reasons are driving factors for the fast food industry to grow in these economies. Countries such as India, China, and Brazil are among the new markets where the growth of the market will be fastest.

During the year 2013, the global fast food market was worth USD 477.1 billion. Market analysts have projected that this market will grow at a CAGR rate of 4.4% from 2013 to 2019, and it is estimated to reach USD 617.6 billion in the year 2019.

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