The fast food market has its own distinct segmentation and target market that may vary from chain to chain. For example, restaurants like Subway may features healthier options for those interested in weight loss and dieting. McDonalds and Burger King on the other may offer salads to appeal to the same market as Subway’s customers, but their target market is not necessarily the same as Subway’s. They may target children through Kids Meals and busy adults on the go who may be looking for a quick meal or snack. Subway, Panera, and Whole Foods specifically target the consumer who takes a healthier approach in regards to eating habits.
Although they are knowingly unhealthy, it is still ethical for companies like McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy’s and Five Guys to sell food that may be considered unhealthy due to the fact that these issues have a higher chance of arising when the more the food is eaten. These restaurants do not pose significant health risks when consumed in moderation; the problem arises when the foods are consumed in excess. The fact that many Americans can enjoy dining at these restaurants without experiencing health issues is proof that the companies themselves are not responsible. As with cigarettes, alcohol, or even aspirin, overuse/abuse of any item can lead to serious complications.
The responsibility for the firms, I believe lies within the information that is shared to public about their product’s origins, contents, and nutritional value. Consumers do have a right, as with products purchased in grocery stores, to have access to the nutritional facts of the restaurants’ products. These changes are beginning to be implemented at fast food chains nationwide as nutritional content is sometimes placed on the menu or products for consumers to read. By the companies holding themselves responsible, this accounts for any liability that the restaurants may have faced before, due to not supplying customers with this information.