food for the masses

McDonalds recently released the latest in its arsenal to convince us back to fast food: the Grand Angus and Mighty Angus. They are promoted to be  specialty dishes, but at AUD7 is it really worth our money?

And look… it’s gold medal winning swimmer Kitajima Kosuke (北島康介) selling Maccas’ “Big Mouth! Quarter Pounder” in Japan. Doesn’t he have swimming preparation to do? Is it not a little ironic that a swimmer who must lead a healthy lifestyle is promoting a food that is not so healthy? It’s no wonder that prices are going up to recoup all these marketing costs incurred by such multinational companies. Having said that, marketing in Australia has never been anywhere near as extreme as Asia or America. Which celebrity sells the Quarter Pounder here?

We have come a long way since the days when greasy fast food was prepared hours in advance and left on the metal trays until they are sold. Do you remember those bygone days? The window of apparent cleanliness, a mirage known as the ‘thirty second rule’ even entered the general vernacular. Fast food was the epitome of unhealthiness, and the symbol of a generation of convenience and laziness. The height of the fast food phenomenon was in the 1990s, at a time when soft drink was also immensely popular.

Those days are now gone. People drink juice rather than soft drink. Fruits and nuts are what is nibbled on during snack time and not chips. How quickly a generation changes.

As a result of public opinion, quality products have appeared across all fast food eateries. From fresh salads to using actual ingredients as opposed to reconstituted product, eateries have had to change quickly to adjust. It was profoundly a western influence. Australian and American menus have undergone substantial revisions to include healthy alternatives. Asian restaurants have not had as significant an upheaval as that which occurred in the west.

In my opinion, the branding that a product is fresher, lighter, and healthier automatically incurs a premium price. Eateries have found it convenient to increase prices using the excuse that freshness costs more. I cannot fathom that inflation exceeded 20-30% over the last ten years, which is the approximate percentage increase in the cost of an average meal. Have food prices increased by that much? I remember the days when a Happy Meal cost AUD2.95. Now it’s 50% more expensive, and you get less for your money. To confuse our easily confused minds, they offer multiple choices to distract our attention away from the monetary excess. The world’s people aren’t getting fatter anymore because the fatness can now be found in the pockets of the multinational giants.

Not only have prices skyrocketed, but food servings have shrunk by a similar proportion. The cheeseburger at double the price is now only half the size. In other words, we are being short changed by 400%! The lifeblood of the cheeseburger is also at a minimum. Where did that ketchup (tomato sauce) go? It has decreased by 50%, but the price increased by 50%. The maths don’t work, or am I stupid?

So when will be the next time you go out and eat fast food at exorbitant prices?

The only saving grace is the 30c cone. All that pig fat goodness.

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3 responses to “food for the masses

  1. Ha! They tried to put up the soft serve prices too… just that people stopped buying them, so they brought the prices back down. *shakes head*

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