This week on the Digiday Podcast, we talk fast food. Generational shifts in taste and culture are creating some unexpected winners and losers in the fast food space. Why are Chipotle and Shake Shack surging while legacy fast food brands such as McDonald’s and Coca-Cola struggle to resonate? Deutsch North America chief digital officer Winston Binch joins us to discuss.

Email us with comments, questions and suggestions at podcast@digiday.com.

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Sponsored by: Bionic Advertising Systems
Intro music: Benny Reiner

Episode 4: Fast Times for Fast Food

Highlights:

What’s eating McDonalds?
McDonalds is on the wrong end of the millennial divide. Fast food has become synonymous with “bad food” for members of young people, who are flocking to fresher alternatives. McDonald’s has responded by offering new products, swapping out its CEO and even dabbling in Chipotle-like customization schemes. Did somebody say “rebrand”?

Fast Casual Rising
Chipotle, Shake Shack and Panera have all tapped into the tastes of a generation that wants more from its fast food — including more healthy ingredients, an underlying cause and a more welcoming dining atmosphere. “Young people actually care most about new food experiences. Quality is important, but it is really about the ‘new,'” Binch said. “The brands that are doing well here have invention and innovation at their core.”

The Taco Bell Difference
The fast food branding issues dogging McDonald’s have somehow missed Taco Bell, which has successfully positioned itself as the go-to brand for young people looking for a touch of irreverence with their meal. “One of the great strengths of Taco Bell is that they act like a friend and a fan, not a corporation. That’s really important when you think about who we’re talking to and how easy it is for people to tune out advertising,” Binch said.

 

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