Fast-food chains feel need to get real
Fast-food chains feel need to get real (AP photo / Thinkstock)
Fast-food chains feel need to get real
Lexile: 800L

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Fast-food chains have a New Year's resolution: Drop the junk.

More and more people say they don't want to eat food they think is overly processed. McDonald's, Taco Bell and other chains are trying to shed their reputation for serving food that is loaded with chemicals.

"This demand for fresh and real is on the rise," said Greg Creed. He is the boss at Yum Brands. The company owns Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut.

Recasting fast-food as "fresh" and "real" will be tricky. Terms like "fresh," ''real" and "healthy" mean different things to different people.

And fast-food chains are indicating they want to jump on the "clean label" trend too:

McDonald's USA President Mike Andres said to expect some changes in early 2015. The company reported a 4.6 percent decline in U.S. sales for November. The results capped two years of struggling performance.

"Why do we need to have preservatives in our food? We probably don't." Andres said. McDonald's restaurants go through supplies quickly.

Subway has started airing new TV ads. They say the restaurant's new chicken strips are free of artificial preservatives and flavors.

Chick-fil-A said in 2013 it would remove high-fructose corn syrup from buns. And it would remove artificial dyes from its dressings. Now it plans to serve only chicken raised without antibiotics. But it will take five years to make that happen.

Carl's Jr. has introduced an "all-natural" burger. The hamburger has no added hormones, antibiotics or steroids.

It's not clear how far fast-food companies will go in changing recipes. But customer visits to traditional fast-food hamburger chains declined 3 percent from a year ago. That's according to market researcher NPD Group. Fast-casual chains, such as Panera and Chipotle, are seen as a step up from traditional fast-food. Tthey saw visits rise 8 percent.

Critical thinking challenge: If artificial ingredients cost more than natural ingredients, why would fast food companies remove the artificial ingredients?

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Assigned 68 times

  • baspro80
    1/13/2015 - 11:47 a.m.

    Fast food is good it is real meat but eating it everyday is a lot of fat and leads to obese. McDonald's doesnt' feel like it is real food. Taco Bell is meant for taco's not for breakfast. It's good but not breakfast it's odd. Burger King makes people throw up orgey nausea. Having a play pen is a bad idea because once a little kid eats and then plays it makes them nausea.

  • CamrynSchornak-Pet
    1/13/2015 - 01:09 p.m.

    learned: i learned some of the fast food restaurants such as McDonald's are dropping the junk food and having more heathery diet. and some of the other ones like taco bell, and KFC are also doing that for more heather diet.
    connection: i am also trying to eat less and no more junk food.
    opinion: i think that they shouldn't do that because that's the whole point of them because its like if u never go out to eat u can have that to be honest that's a bad idea.

  • ellas-Sma
    1/14/2015 - 09:24 p.m.

    I think it is good that fast food restaurant's are making there food more healthier because the chemicals they put in fast food are not good for you , plus those chemicals are fattening .Also I think the food should be more fresh .

  • carlyl-Sma
    1/15/2015 - 12:21 p.m.

    It's good that fast food restrauts are getting healthy.Maybe they will get more people will go to there more.

  • carlyl-Sma
    1/15/2015 - 12:28 p.m.

    It's good that fast food restraunts are being helathy. Maybe more people will eat there, and they will get more money.And more bussnises will open and more people will have a job.

  • sarah009
    1/15/2015 - 12:52 p.m.

    I think it's a good plan to make the fast food more healthy, and have less preservatives. If this happened, it would be easier and healthier for people who go on the road a lot and just need something quick. Also I think it might lower the obesity level in our country because so many people eat fast food.

  • benp-Sma
    1/16/2015 - 06:11 p.m.

    MC Donald,s food is so bad for you you should just consider eating pink slime.I know every kid counting me always used to eat there but now its terrible.

  • alyssac-Sma
    1/21/2015 - 11:55 a.m.

    I think it is right that they are trying to make less junk food.People should eat less junk food because it could make them sick and their stomach might hurt.

    • EmryW-Phe
      3/11/2015 - 08:32 a.m.

      I agree with you because bwhen you eat junk food every day you will get sick. Mc Donnalds should takes all the stuff out of there foods that will make yo sick so i agree

  • sumaram-Sma
    1/21/2015 - 02:01 p.m.

    i usally like subway and mcdoalds but it is really bad for you subway is alot heather the a burger i like subway alot better

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