by Charlotte Beal
Iconoculture recently published two trends, “The Recession 15″ and “We Are All Fat Now,” detailing the continued struggle with obesity as compounded by the Great Recession. Last week, a few fascinating pieces of data added color to the situation.
70% of consumers say healthful foods are more difficult to afford; 53% say they often buy less healthful foods to save money (ProgressiveGrocer.com 8.25.09). And guess what? Prices on dairy products, meat, eggs and other foods are expected to rise 2-3% over the next year (NYTimes.com 8.25.09).
So, the cheap gets more … challenging? KFC confirmed tests of a Double Down sandwich, which dares consumers to eat a sandwich with fried chicken filets in place of bread (NRN.com 8.24.09). The over-the-top “monster” genre of fast food shows no signs of slowing. P.S. This is Why You’re Fat, the tumblr site-cum-book, is now available for pre-order!
And speaking of challenge, a study from the University of South Carolina found that consumers are more likely to choose a strange, unknown snack (in this case, Camembert and plum potato crisps from the U.K.) when their lives are in the midst of change (TheDailyBeast.com 8.25.09). Perhaps recession, with its upset and upheaval, is the perfect time to push palate limits.
So whether the junk we eat will be more comforting (as most people assume) or more challenging, it does sound like we’ll be eating more junk. Either way, this recession is proving to be an inflection point for stomach share.