Supply and Demand, Or Why Most Fast Food Chains Don’t Do Veggie Burgers
Ever wonder why finding a veggie burger on demand (outside of the grocery store) isn’t always the easiest of tasks? Simple: Supply and demand. While Burger King has found some success when they added a veggie burger to their menu in 2002, other chains like McDonald’s have tested and retracted veg-friendly alternatives due to lack of sales, even citing that “salads only made up 2 to 3 percent of McDonald’s U.S. sales in 2013, even as customers petitioned the chain for healthier choices.” This could be a sign of a bigger, cultural problem in the U.S. when it comes to food choices, but it also shows a small, demanding demographic expecting a large business to spend money developing and releasing products that don’t really sell, case in point.
While many health-conscious eaters refuse to eat processed foods like those sold at McDonald’s, a lot of people haven’t had much of a choice as to where their food comes from (in terms of variety, I can attest to this personally during my time spent in Ohio), and end up eating at fast food chains like Burger King due to a lack of reasonable accomodation. This is where things like the above petition come from – and they’re essentially ineffective (and often temporary) because the community pushing these efforts doesn’t end up spending their money on these products at these locations. I’m not exactly a big proponent of fast food, and I wouldn’t encourage anyone to go out of their way to eat fast food, but I can acknowledge that it’s a modern convenience that isn’t going away any time soon and is an active reflection of our society’s demands (and culture), whether we like it or not, and until we start spending our money at places like McDonald’s, they’re not going to cater to us – and that’s okay.
Until the time comes when the demand for meatless burgers at fast food locations spikes significantly due to support from the veg community or the aftermath of a bigger problem (e.g. the environmental damage caused by raising cattle), there may yet be room for a new chain of veg-friendly fast food restaurants that will take the nation by storm. Until then, Burger King veggie burgers and McDonald’s salads will have to do when you’re on the road and there aren’t any other options, and the less the community partakes – the less likely these restaurants are to continue accommodating our needs; food for thought.
Image source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/af/Veggie_burger_burger_king_flickr_user_moe_creative_commons.jpg