ENGL393 Final Paper

ENGL393 Final Paper - Introduction/Discussion of Problem It...

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Introduction/Discussion of Problem It is clear that Americans are leaning towards having healthier eating habits. People from young to old are discovering the need to eat a more balanced and nutritious diet. Additionally, consumers are constantly reminded of the need for less processed foods, as seen in many restaurants and supermarkets; as well as focused more on wholesome and nutrient-rich products. Even when consumers choose to eat at fast food restaurants, many decide to pick from the healthier options on the menu. Customers no longer wish to just feed on meals that are quick and savory, but rather more nutritious at the same time. The reason for this shift can be attributed to both the increase in obesity levels and food- related knowledge within the United States in the past twenty years. The country has gone from having relatively low obesity levels to becoming a country known for its disproportionate population of overweight individuals. Additionally, people are becoming more exposed to nutritional labels and contents, as well as the advocacy for a healthier lifestyle by numerous sources. The increase in obesity is only aided by fast food eateries, which most of the time serve processed foods. Restaurants such as McDonalds provide easy access to great-tasting items that are convenient and tasty; however, these foods are loaded with saturated fat, processed ingredients, and sugars that lead to weight gain. Additionally, government agencies and popular media are constantly pushing the importance of choosing more nutritious foods as well as the need for weight management. These changes cause restaurants everywhere to promote items that cater to the growing health-conscious individuals. For instance, one of Potbelly’s biggest rivals, Subway, has a wide 1
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variety of sandwiches that are low in calories and fat (Subway.com). Even though the main menu still consists of high-calorie and fatty foods, the company expanded its variety and advertisements in order to tap into health-oriented individuals. Many people enjoy Subway because it offers qualities that sought after: fast and healthy foods. The addition of low calorie and low fat foods to the menu increased revenues for Subway in the double digits. Potbelly needs to start following these trends if the company wishes to tap into the ever- growing market of health-conscious consumers. However, because the name “Potbelly” itself conveys an image of a hearty and filling meal, changes like those seen at Subway will not likely produce the same results. Additionally, the Potbelly image is that of a retro sandwich shop; making too many drastic changes will cause the restaurant to lose its identity, and as a result lose loyal customers. For example, the introduction of the “Skinny” menu, which consists of the “TKY,” the “Hammie,” and the “Mushroom Melt,” was not a major success at Potbelly because people frequent the place for “great tasting, wholesome, comfort food” (Potbelly.com). This is an
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This note was uploaded on 12/15/2009 for the course ENGL 393 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at Maryland.

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ENGL393 Final Paper - Introduction/Discussion of Problem It...

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