A person is hungry, they need a quick fix, lo and behold they happen to see those bright golden arches not too far in the distance. The person stops, pulls up to the drive through, and the speaker box begins asking them for their order. It’s the sad truth about fast food. The market is chock-full with hungry consumers on extremely tight schedules with “instant gratification” mindsets. One variable, the fast food market never could have predicted was a “healthy American”. Everything is now sorted into increments of one hundred calories conveniently put into separate packages for the new health-conscious men and women of the twenty first century. In the beginning, fast food markets preyed on a booming new market hungry of hamburgers and milkshakes- new staples in the American diet. Companies such as McDonald’s- the founder and leader of the fast food market- began with ad campaigns that focused on “juicy” burgers and large portions. Now the same chain displays clean-cut logos and markets salads more often than its original burgers. Fast food chains are forced to change according to social trends to meet the new demand of the consumers.
McDonald’s was and remains a revolutionary idea. Founded outside of the city of Chicago, McDonald’s has grown into a cultural phenomenon. It began just like the picture depicts. On North Lee Street in Des Plaines, Illinois, the first McDonald’s franchise was opened in the 1940’s, marking the beginning of the restaurants amazing expansion. With large golden arches soaring above opposite sides of the restaurant, it can be hard to miss while driving along any street. A beautiful, young woman is depicted being handed a juicy hamburger. (It is comical to note that America had also begun worrying about germs around the same time, thus explaining the napkin used to hand over the burger.) In McDonald’s infancy, the idea of being health conscious was unheard of in most cases. The hamburger is prominently displayed in the advertisement.
The phrase “Try this for sighs” demonstrates how portion size did not matter to Americans. Consumers wanted the satisfaction of being “full” that came with a “sigh” after finishing a burger from McDonald’s. Consumers did not know how many calories were sufficient for the meal. “Calories” was a foreign word to most men and women. The advertisement is very tasteful and gives a positive image to the newborn fast food chain. As McDonald’s flourished and fast food became increasingly popular, the chain introduced the innovative new product that will forever hold a place in pop culture – the Big Mac.
The arrival of the Big Mac marked the beginning of oversized portions in America. The burger was enormous- constituted of three buns, two meat patties, cheese, lettuce, tomato, “special sauce”… McDonald’s was not kidding in their ad when it said “A Meal disguised as a sandwich”. The larger the burger was, the better. Somehow, Americans associated size with quality....