This dispels the long-held belief that customers aren’t interested in buying desserts from fast-food chains.
SA sugar high
In recent years the prime mover with desserts in the fast food industry has been McDonald’s, says Katherine Bauer, professor of public health at Temple University, US, who conducted the study. “They were responsible to two best-selling desserts being the McFlurry and a deep-fried apple pie, but hadn’t changed things up in years,” she says.
Then, in November 2011 the chain offered several new pies, sundaes and McFlurry varieties in response to research showing customers were willing to eat dessert at any time of day. Burger King has followed suit in recent months, introducing gingerbread desserts for the holiday and a popular bacon topped ice-cream.
Taco Bell, who has famously been dessert-free right up until this year, has also folded to customers’ sugary cravings and introduced a dessert range to its menu.
With South Africa’s food and beverage industry performing well over the course of 2012, increasing total income by 7% compared to 2011, according to Statistics SA, adding more desserts to the QSR menu might give the industry the sugar kick it needs to keep performing.