Top 10 “healthier” fast food chains, chosen by consumers

Research consultancy Brand Keys asked 2,800 consumers to identify the top 10 fast-food chains they perceive as healthy alternatives to their greasy, greasy counterparts. Brand Keys President and Founder Robert Passikoff reveals the reasons behind consumer choices, the health-focused evolution of fast food — and a candidate who should have made the list.

Whether through brand strategies, consumer decisions, or both, fast food has improved its reputation in the eyes of the public.

While the ‘natural foods’ category has been around for years, it’s only recently defined itself as something between ‘seeking fitness’ and ‘nutrition’. And more recently, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the category has once again repositioned itself into a weight loss solution.

Working from home can have its perks, but the constant availability of Grubhub snacks and deliveries wasn’t one of them. It also didn’t help that the gyms were closed. We’ll take your word for it that you were going to the gym religiously before COVID.

You are not alone in your quest to lose midlife 15. Harvard Medical School examined the weight changes of 15 million patients over a year during the pandemic. Their findings delivered no surprises. People have gained weight. About 39% of the group gained more than two pounds, while about 39% gained 12 pounds or more.

And, as we head into summer, people are more concerned about their beach bodies, which have resolved themselves into a combination of visiting now-open gyms, deep inhaling, and eating healthier foods, including including fast food.

Now, here’s the thing. Fast food has a well-deserved reputation for being loaded with saturated fat, carbohydrates, and sugar. But today, almost all fast food restaurants offer healthy options, including vegetarian options. You just need to browse the menu to find them.

And I know what you’re thinking: “Wow, what a pain in the ass having to pay attention to calorie counts and grams of saturated fat, sugar, and sodium.” And you would be right. I’m sorry for that, but be careful, you have to, if you want to “eat healthy”. Moreover, in the case of fast casual food brands, there is much more that contributes to brand engagement, regardless of what consumers are saying.

To make it easier to find your next quick and healthy meal, we at Brand Keys surveyed 2,806 consumers to see which brands meet their expectations for “healthy” foods. Here they are:


2. Chick-fil-A

3. Panera Bread

4. Wendy’s


6. Sweet Green



9. Papa John’s

10. Metro

Not so coincidentally, all have an array of healthy options to choose from. Although we haven’t reviewed all of their menus, as I said earlier, you can find something healthy at most fast food restaurants.

But here’s a funny thing. You know who deserves to be on the list? Taco Bell. Yes, the brand that has long been the butt of late-night comedian jokes. But it turns out that the brand has some of the healthiest options out there.

And no, it’s not a joke, even if you have to read the menu and their nutrition page to find them. They’ve made several health improvements over the past few years, including an effort to reduce sodium across the entire menu by 25% by 2025. They’ve already achieved 18% of that goal. They also removed artificial colors and flavors and replaced them with natural alternatives. So here is. Taco Bell.

There is a Yiddish saying that goes, “Health is a relationship between you and your body. Consumers today extend this relationship to foodservice brands that better meet their expectations of emotional engagement for, well, anything that builds loyalty in their respective categories.

But when it comes to this particular value, it’s worth noting that while healthy foods are generally more expensive than traditionally processed or purchased foods, it seems customers and brands are willing to put their money where it belongs. stuffy.

Robert Passikoff is the founder and president of Brand Keys.

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