With increased consumer interest in healthier food options, fast food chains are nixing low-quality ingredients from their menus.
“A Pizza Hut, a Pizza Hut, Kentucky Fried Chicken and a Pizza Hut…” Who could forget the montage of students screaming at the top of their lungs to fast food giants in the world-famous documentary Supersize Me?
While Morgan Spurlock definitely raised eyebrows with his McD’s experiment and brought to attention the lacking nutrition in most processed and fast-food options, little was done about it. It became the collective belief that companies like McDonalds would never change, and consumers would just need to take initiative and abstain from low-quality fare.
But in light of increased consumer interest in becoming healthier and preventing modern-day diseases of affluence, a growing amount of restaurant chains are choosing to ‘get with the times’ and adapt their menu – even if slightly – to cater to their more health-conscious clientele.
Jumping in on the action are the fast food favorites Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.
Yum! Brands, which owns both Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, announced just this week that they will stop putting artificial ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, black pepper flavor, added trans fat, and other fake ingredients into the foods they sell.
While it’s a bit difficult to praise fast food companies for deciding to use real black pepper instead of ‘black pepper flavor,’ it is at least a sign that activists’ efforts are paying and giant food companies are considering change.
The company’s announcement closely follows on the heels of other restaurant chains seeking to appeal to a more nutrition-conscious public by removing additives, fillers, and low-quality animal products from their menu.
Panera Bread recently nixed 150 artificial ingredients from its menu, and even McDonald’s is pledging to stop using chicken injected with antibiotics. And who could forget Chipotle’s ground-breaking plan to remove all GMO foods from its menu?
In addition, Yum! Brands announced that Taco Bell, KFC, and Pizza Hut will only use palm oil produced sustainably in their foods.
What an interesting world we live in where restaurants have to announce their decision to include more real, natural foods in their menu to create a buzz… But there it is.
No doubt many more restaurants and food product companies will announce similar changes in the future.
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