Fast Foodie Nation

Doritos Taco Loco, via HuffingtonPost

Really? People eat this stuff–on purpose?

My husband and I were talking about the newest concoctions from fast food/convenience store marketers, and I had an epiphany. We’re calling it the “Fast Foodie” trend.

Basically, we think there are two basic movements happening in the food market, two fundamental types of  relatively new consumers.

The first is already well-documented: the Foodies. These are the folks who prefer organic ingredients, melt over the freshest kale innovation, who want to know which farm has the chicken that laid their omelet. It’s all about fresh, and healthy, and good for the world. It’s also fairly expensive, with a little bit of a reputation of snoodiness.

It used to be “Foodies” in one corner and “everyone else” in the other. But then we got a new sub-group: the Fast Foodies. These are folks who, like their Foodie counterparts, are looking for something a little different on the menu tonight. But, unlike Foodies, they don’t have a lot of money, or they don’t care much for health trends, and are not at all worried about the environment or freshness or, really, if that even really is chicken egg in their breakfast. There’s also a great shock value effect when you tell someone what you had for lunch and they say, “Really? You ate that?!”

And thus was spawned a market.

We have these Fast Foodies to thank for the incredible, awe-inspiring monstrosities saturating the market: Taco Bell Doritos Taco Loco; Ben & Jerry’s new Core flavors, which feature a build-your-own middle flavor; the Bacon Sundae at Burger King or the Bacon Shake at Jack in the Box; Pizza Hut’s Hot Dog Crust pizza; White Castle Chicken Rings; Taco Bell’s Waffle Taco; KFC’s Double Down–who needs bread when you can have more fried chicken?; Loaded Doritos at 7-11.

These are folks that don’t care that a Taco Loco from Taco Bell contains 14% of their daily value of sodium, and that nearly half of its calories are from pure, glorious fat. In fact, they might like it because of that. After all, it took less than six months for Taco Bell to top the $1 billion mark for the $1.89 tacos.

It certainly isn’t the first time we’ve eaten strange things–McDonald’s may have been the kickoff, offering the McGriddle and McRib before the fad seems to have started–but it does seem like it’s a big movement now.

Personally, I can’t speak to the taste or quality of any of those products: I veer more toward the Foodie side of the Foodie–Fast Foodie spectrum, and the idea of eating any of that stuff makes me kinda sick. But I do think it’s fascinating.

What do you think? Is the Fast Foodie trend real…and is it here to stay?


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4 responses to “Fast Foodie Nation

  1. The White Castle Chicken Rings have been around for years and I remember making fun of the Double Down from KFC (what you wrote was funny). I don’t eat nearly as much fastfood any more. I am trying to be more healthy and I applaud your efforts as well.

    There does seem to be this “Devil May care” attitude with popular foods at local fast food joints. Interesting.

  2. I love bacon. And I adore ice cream. But a bacon sundae? I’m all for combining unusual flavours, but that’s pushing it a bit far. We have a pizza chain over here that does a triple-decker pizza (the main toppings are between layers one and two, between two and three cheese sauce and on the top layer regular cheese) and they also to the cheese-griller baked into the crust along the edge. I feel my arteries clogging up just thinking of it.

    Looking at how popular these concoctions appear to be, I’d say the trend is here to stay and we’re all going to end up like those people on the space ship in Wall-E.

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