We are slaves to the fast food world. Cravings are what gets people in the door to eat the food these fast food chains provide. The marketing of fast food is what ultimately gets us to eat the food as it increases our cravings. The fast food chains use their marketing to pull us in to eat the food. It is no longer about taste and the nutritional value of food, but instead is about how craveble they can make their food to make us want more. They use advertisement tactics that affect our senses, that leave us wanting more even if the food isn’t the best tasting. As a matter of fact In the article “The Psychology of Colors in Marketing and Branding,” by Hailey van Braam, she states:
“In fact, the color, make, look and feel of a product affects 93% of the buying decision. This is followed by texture which affects 6% of the buying decision and sounds and smell which affect 1% of the buying decision.” This is how they use the psychology of colors to attract people.
Colors in marketing play a big role in our cravings for things as it is the first thing we see. It makes us want more or less all depending on visual appearance. Many fast food chains use the colors red and yellow which stimulates our brains in different ways. Red, used in many chains’ branding, encourages appetite as it creates a sense of urgency. Red also physically stimulates the human body. Yellow is used to draw in impulsive buyers, promotes enthusiasm and increases cheerfulness. They are also known to use another one of our senses, smell, to attract us to eat their food. The brand Scentair is a brand used by many fast food chains and other dining places. It is a brand that is made for scent marketing. It manufactures aromas that make us crave food. They push out the scents, such as a fryer smell, to make us want the food and make it more cravable. Scent plays a key role in our cravings especially when we are hungry as it becomes more sensitive. It is believed that scent makes up a lot of how something tastes which makes the fast food experience more enjoyable. The look and smell of a restaurant definitely play a big role but one of the most important things that bring us back into these fast food chains is the ingredients in the food that make it so enjoyable. The ingredients in fast food also play a key role in our cravings. The “mouthfeel”, a term coined by scientists, is one of the many reasons why oily foods make us want more, it makes the experience of eating these foods much more enjoyable. Fast food contains high amounts of sugar, sodium, and fat which makes the food high in taste which only adds to the mouthfeel. It has been scientifically proven that high amounts of fat and sugar increase cravings. Often these tastes are also linked to memories which only add to the cravings.
As much as one would like to say fast food is bad food, there is no such thing as bad food which is one reason they are beneficial for communities to have access too. Fast food is inexpensive, and convenient. Those advantages add to helping people not skip meals even if the ingredients aren’t the best. The pricing of the food is obviously from the poor choice of ingredients, but at the same time it helps when money is tight as you can still have a meal for under $5 while a small salad alone costs you the same price. In the article “America’s Fast Food Obsession” Spencer Smead shares the example:
“Many college students find it hard to find time in their day to cook or go out and sit down for a healthy meal. Due to this it has been reported that 23% of college students eat fast food daily and 50% of students reported eating at least 3 fast food meals per week.”
Fast food is economically beneficial when you really think about it. However, I feel that we only want more because of how it is advertised and the ingredients that make us spend more on it.