Big Food takes on itself

  • This Tuesday, June 28, 2016, photo shows a McDonald's sign in Miami. Already, the emergence of smaller rivals promising more wholesome alternatives has major restaurant chains scrambling to improve the image of their food. But some of the tweaks they’re making underscore how far they have to go in changing perceptions. Convincing people it serves wholesome food is particularly important for McDonald’s, which has long courted families with its Happy Meals and Ronald McDonald mascot. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

AP Food Industry Writer
Published: 9/13/2016 4:07:31 PM

Big Food’s biggest trend is crusading against Big Food.

Small restaurant groups, as well as multinational chains, are changing the way they present themselves to appeal to people’s distrust in the established food system.

Salad chain Sweetgreen’s campaign to fix what it calls the “broken” food system asks people to join its “movement.” Panera challenged other chains to make kids’ meals without artificial ingredients before it had done so itself. And the industry’s giants have changed how they talk about themselves. McDonald’s unveiled a food “philosophy,” Wendy’s says it’s part of the “farm-to-fork, fast-food trend,” and Taco Bell refers to “the farms that make our food.”

Skeptics say even well-intentioned marketing seeks to sway customers, and it’s a disingenuous way to help people rationalize foods that may still be unhealthy.

Associated Press

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