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BrandZ™ Category Analysis: Fast Food

 

Despite health concerns,

Purpose and Love drive growth

 

The fast food category has been under pressure from consumer concerns about healthy ingredients. However, the category scores above average on all five of the BrandZ™ Vital Signs, and is especially high on Love. These results are in sharp contrast to the soft drinks category, which also is pressured by consumer health concerns, but scores only average on Vital Signs, and below average on the fundamental Vital Sign, Brand Purpose.

 

The fast food category’s clear purpose, serving food quickly and affordably, helps explain why the BrandZ™ Fast Food Top 10 rose 319 percent in brand value over the past 12 years. In addition, McDonald’s, the No. 1 brand in the BrandZ™ Fast Food ranking, drove significant growth. McDonald’s scores extremely high on Communications and Brand Love. Changes in category composition also helped drive growth.

 

In 2006, the burger segment comprised 62 percent of category value. Today, the burger segment comprises just under half of the value, while the coffee/sandwich segment has gone from less than a quarter of value in 2006 to more than a third. The coffee/sandwich segment, which includes Starbucks, Tim Hortons, and Subway, scores 116 in Brand Purpose, compared with 108 for the burger segment. Trust has also increased more for the coffee/sandwich brands. And the segment grew in value at the fastest rate over the past 12 years, 521 percent.

 

Brand Implications

Fast food brands returned to basics this year. The burger chains are serving better burgers and the sandwich chains are improving and expanding their menus. As the fast food brands continue to meet changing consumer expectations for food quality, safety, and speed, they need to match their investments in operational improvements with investments in communications.

 

 

 

 

Category composition changes…

In 2006, the burger segment comprised 62 percent of category value. Today, the burger segment comprises just under half of the value, while the coffee/sandwich segment has gone from less than a quarter in 2006 to more than a third.

 

 

 

 

… And coffee/sandwich segment help drive growth

The coffee/sandwich segment, which includes Starbucks, Tim Hortons, and Subway, scores 116 in Brand Purpose, compared with 108 for the burger segment.