omaha.com – Turns out the fast-food wars are still all about burgers.
Forget, for the moment, kale and quinoa, those trendy pretty boys of American cuisine. The leafy vegetable and the ancient grain have for years fed the prevailing food narrative, that more Americans are trying to clean up their diets, or at least are saying they are, and begging off burgers as part of the effort.
Try telling that to McDonald’s and Burger King.
McDonald’s has posted positive U.S. same-store sales for eight of the past nine quarters. Shares of Burger King’s parent company are trading near an all-time high.
It’s not kale salads and quinoa bowls driving the phenomenon. It’s the humble hamburger, the cheap soda and the perennially popular chicken nugget.
As recently as two years ago, McDonald’s was mired in its worst slump in more than a decade. Chief Executive Officer Steve Easterbrook, charged with mounting a comeback when he took over in March 2015, talked of transforming the world’s largest restaurant chain into a “modern, progressive burger company.” To many observers, that meant healthier fare at the empire built on a positive response to “Would you like fries with that?”
There was one problem.
“A lot of people associate healthy food with things that don’t taste very good,” said Michael Halen, a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst.
Uhhhhh the fast food industry still comes down to burgers and nuggets?? Ya think??