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Carl's Jr. Cave In? Fat Chance
By: Maryann Fabian
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In the midst of all the food police hoopla going on (you know, Mayor Bloomberg’s quest to keep the streets of New York safe from soda guzzlers, the First Lady’s campaign against fat kids, and our country’s general obsession with telling other people how to live), food brands are being shamed into changing their ways.

Coca-Cola got defensive. Witness its recent odd commercial about “140 happy calories.” And the new “Chairs” spot about getting off your butt. Olive Garden dropped French fries and milkshakes from the kids’ menu. Even Walmart developed new labels to help shoppers spot healthier food options.

But at least one brand continues to do what it does best: Carl’s Jr. (also known as Hardees in part of the country, but we all know it’s not quite the same). Yes, Carl’s Jr., known for its saucy burgers and even saucier commercials, bucks the trend. Men’s Health says “Carl’s Jr. is swimming against the nutritional current, trying to wrangle the last of a dying breed of consumers who refuse to make health a concern.” CEO Andy Puzder, however, recently told the L.A. Times that he will keep the menu “indulgent, decadent.”

Could it be that they’ve done their research?

According to an article about trends in Forbes:
  • Human inertia will kill 80% of consumer trends.
  • Simple experiences win.
That’s because, like most trends, they “rely on consumers changing long-engrained routines.” Since people already live complicated lives, they rely on habits and routines to get them through.

According to MarketWatch,

Appetites not numbers often make the final decision on whether to go [for fast food]: Only one in six New Yorkers consider the calorie information, a 2011 study by the British Medical Journal found. And a study by the New York University School of Medicine concluded that the calorie labeling has little effect on purchases by teenagers or parents.

 It's puzzling that today we are more likely to apply moral values to food than people; i.e., that soda is "bad." As if an inanimate object can do something wrong.

Just some food for thought.

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About the Author
Maryann Fabian is a copywriter who has crafted the voice of some of this country's best brands.
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