Restaurants focus on health
According to reports by USA Today, one out of every five customers who buys fast food several times a week finds it essential to have healthy meal options. There’s a growing trend among various fast food restaurants to add healthy menu options in order to target customers who are calorie conscious.
Wendy’s healthy menu options
On its website, Wendy’s (WEN) provides complete nutritional information for all of its menu items. Along with calorie details, it also provides gluten and allergen-related information for customers.
Healthier diets for children
According to reports by The Huffington Post, in order to encourage healthier diets for children, Wendy’s and McDonald’s (MCD) recently dropped soda as a drink option for its kids’ meals. Burger King (QSR) immediately followed suit. However, since food is purchased from the counter, can the “dropping soda from kid’s meal” initiative genuinely prevent kids from consuming soda? Is this just gimmick to build restaurants’ images to keep up with the competition?
Flip side of healthy menu options
According to research reports from Forbes, the new generation of customers who are health conscious prefer fast-casual restaurants—like Chipotle (CMG) and Panera Bread (PNRA). These restaurants offer a wider selection of healthy meals. According to Forbes, in research conducted until 2013, salads account for only 2%–3% of total sales. McDonald’s decided to move away from healthy options. It’s consolidating its standard menu.
Investors can access companies in the fast food restaurant industry through ETFs like the Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLY). XLY holds about 4.1% of McDonald’s.