Teacher Training Class: Week 4

The Trouble with Fries

by Malcolm Gladwell

Writing Summary

Improving the health of fast food will require a new revolution in order to eliminate biases toward nutritious food, reduce costs through mass production and create mass appeal through effective marketing.

Many people have a bias about food: the higher the nutrition, the lower the taste. More factual information isn’t the solution because most people don’t seem to make smart food choices even when they know certain fast foods have poor nutrition.

In order to make healthy fast food more appealing we need to lower costs with techniques used in other areas. One factor that helped make fast food successful was the application of mass production principles to food. This helped companies like McDonald’s lower costs, standardize quality and scientifically determine the precise taste which had mass appeal.

Successful fast food companies generate consumer interest through sophisticated marketing campaigns with iconic images that create positive associations with their food, such as the Happy Meal for children. To be successful, healthy fast food will need a similar marketing strategy.

In summary, if healthy fast food is going to be commercially viable, the world needs another Ray Kroc.

Some Hypotheses

  1. The healthier the food, the lower the mass appeal
  2. The greater the restriction on fast food at home, the more kids will eat it
  3. The greater the product information, the more people will buy junk food
  4. The greater the emotional association, the harder it is to get people to change their food habits.





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