Fueled by a pervasive awareness of the conflicts between their consumerist impulses and their aspirations to be “good,” experienced consumers are increasingly weighed down with guilt. The result? A growing hunger for a new kind of consumption: Guilt-Free Consumption (GFC). GFC is a new kind of consumption, one free from worry, or at least with less worry, about its negative impact, that allows continued indulgence.
For now, the most potent GFC innovations will target those areas where there is the greatest tension between consumer values and impulses, and help absolve the most troubling guilt. For QSRs, this means identifying the consumption choices that cause the most guilt, such as sugar, fat, sodium and calories, and taking steps to help absolve that guilt.
September 2013 saw QSR giants McDonald’s and Burger King sparring with GFC initiatives. Burger King launched “Satisfries,” -French fries with 40% less fat and 30% fewer calories than the McDonald’s equivalent. While McDonald’s announced a global partnership with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation to make specific commitments, including always offering a choice of a side-salad, fruit or vegetables as a substitute for fries in a value meal.
Source: Report: Trend Briefing–Guilt-Free Consumption. (November 2013). Trendwatching.