This past weekend, Burger King became the latest fast food restaurant to join a string of joints that are attempting to debut healthier options for customers. Burger King’s key new item, dubbed “Satisfries,” is a trimmed down version of their regular small fries, containing 20% less fat and 30% few calories. At 270 calories, and 11 grams of fat, Burger King claims that its new healthy option even has 40% less fat and 30% fewer calories than competitor McDonalds’ fries. The corporation is aggressively marketing and advertising their new item to customers. They spent the weekend giving away free samples of Satisfries to customers in an attempt to involve them in the new campaign.
Healthy fast food, however, certainly isn’t an original, never-been-done-before marketing campaign. In the past few years, many fast food corporations such as McDonalds and others have been altering their menu and their image to cater to health-conscious customers. According to the National Restaurant Association, 73 percent of adults are trying to eat healthier now at restaurants than they did 2 years ago. Recently, McDonalds announced it would be offering a side salad with burgers instead of fries, and earlier this year, they introduced leaner wraps to their menu. Wendy’s proudly displays their Nutrition, Ingredient, and Allergen Info chart on their website along with Nutritious choices for children. Jack in the Box and others have added salads to their burger-heavy menus. In the wake of the health craze, Burger King’s Satisfries campaign makes perfect sense.
In fact, it may be the only method of survive in an increasingly health focused industry. Burger King’s attempt to rebrand itself as a healthier chain is ironically the best way to compete with other restaurants like McDonalds, Jack in the Box, Wendy’s and more. Corporations that initially made their name off their greasy, fattening food have been forced to change in light of studies on obesity and unhealthy eating. Burger King’s new marketing campaign merely marks a shift in the overall image of the fast food industry. No longer can restaurants embrace the fatty foods that made them famous without facing some sort of health inspired backlash. As evidenced by Burger King’s Satisfries campaign, healthy is the new marketing strategy in the “junk food” industry.