America has long been known as “Fast Food Nation.” The not-so-complimentary term has become associated with a nation where obesity, diabetes, and processed foods-consumption run rampant. One-third of Americans are overweight or obese, so it’s no wonder that companies traditionally known as fast food brands are trying desperately to distance themselves from the term. According to the Associated Press, fast food is becoming a dirty term and slogans like “fast-casual, "fine casual," ''fast crafted," and "fan food,” have been trending instead.
"People have come to equate the term 'fast food' with 'junk food' over the years," Candice Choi, food industry writer for The Associated Press, told Mashable. "So some chains are trying to distance themselves from that image by describing themselves with new phrases like 'fine casual' or 'fast crafted.'"
With new slogans, a fresher look, and healthier menu options, older quick service brands like McDonald’s and Burger King are struggling to compete with newer, sleeker brands that promote healthier or more organic lifestyles like Chipotle, Panera, and Shake Shack. Think about McDonald’s artisan burgers, or numerous brands promising to go cage-free or to stop using antibiotic-raised poultry, and KFC promising to source ethically-produced palm oil from now on.
Arby’s is just one of the many brands attempting to revamp its image and has chosen the term “fast-crafted” to describe its sandwiches.
“Everything can be fast today,” BrandSimple Consulting founder Allen Adamson told ABC. “What you want to communicate is something more desirable, and the term fast-food has become the 'death star' of the industry."