10 trends in fast food

Carrie Hines

Dramatic demographic shifts such as the rise of the 'silver tsunami' will be major drivers of change in the fast-food sector, coupled with the growth in the 'fast casual' dining sector and smartphone usage.

Fast food is big business, yet few of us realise just how ingrained in our economy and our lives quick-service restaurants have become. Forecast to reach $ 185 billion in US sales in 2012, fast food chains claim more than 60% of all restaurant visits and the average American adult frequents fast food restaurants 21 times per month.

And it is all about to change. We do not predict quick-service restaurants are going away – the basic need for convenient, affordable food is too essential to our busy lifestyles for that. But it is clear that a convergence of trends is beginning to affect every aspect of the fast food business equation – from their guests, to the restaurants, to the food they serve.