Consumers' Concerns May Not Translate at the Register

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Consumers' Concerns May Not Translate at the Register


NEW YORK -- Customers of quick serve restaurants are concerned about eating healthy, but that concern may not be enough for them to make the healthy choices, according to a white paper by GfK MRI.

The consumer research provider released this finding, and several others, in its "The Secret Sauce of Marketing to Frequent QSR Patrons." The paper details the behavior of customers of five types of QSRs: burger, chicken, sandwich, Mexican and pizza.

In addition to wanting to eat healthier, although not necessarily following through with it, the paper found that some customers -- at least on a conceptual level -- care about supporting companies that are environmentally responsible; however, they will not give up the convenience to be "green" themselves, according to a GfK MRI release.

"The fact that McDonald's recently pledged $2 million to aid disaster relief efforts in Japan is not surprising when GfK MRI data show 34 percent of the chain's customers expect the brands they buy to support social causes," said Anne Marie Kelly, SVP, marketing & strategic planning, at GfK MRI. "Meanwhile, frequent patrons of Mexican chains are 80 percent more likely than are all U.S. adults to go to the movies two or three times a month. Thus promotional tie-ins with the motion picture business would appear to be a logical consideration."

GfK MRI mines consumer data from its Survey of the American Consumer, which comes out twice a year. The survey reflects the views of 26,000 U.S. adults and is projectable across the entire U.S. adult population, according to a company press release.