According to a report published by the industry research firm IBISWorld, the fast food industry is expected to grow by an average rate of two percent over the next five years. Major companies like McDonald’s, Yum! Brands, Wendy’s, and Subway will contribute to an anticipated industry revenue in 2019 of $219.3 billion.
As consumers have expressed more interest in healthy menu options from fast food chains and the fast-casual concepts like Chipotle and Five Guys, companies have responded by adding items like salads and smoothies to their menus.
In 2013, Yum! Brands introduced the first KFC Eleven in Louisville, Ky., which serves salads, rice bowls, and more health-conscious items. Recently, McDonald’s has seen success with its decision to focus on “core classics” over short-lived promotional items.
“The industry has shifted,” noted the study, “from major operators offering a single food style to offering diversity and health foods under their own or a variety of brands.”
For companies that have experienced slow domestic growth in recent years, overseas markets have proved invaluable. China, for instance, has the potential to drive “long-term revenue and profit.” As the industry grows, price competition will become more intense, which is why the rate of revenue overall is expected to be relatively flat.
In addition to the industry’s ongoing battle for the morning market, fast food restaurants are expected to offer greater menu variety and meet consumer demands for comparatively healthier items.
Karen Lo is an associate editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @appleplexy.