Fast food, overall, continued to see healthy growth rates in 2017, in spite of pressure caused by health concerns. In this context, however, chicken fast food is increasingly perceived as a healthier alternative to burger fast food.
There was evident pressure on fast food in 2017, as Wicklow County Council voted to introduce a “no fry’ zone within 400 metres of all schools in the county. The move came in response to huge public pressure following a fast food chain’s intention to open a new outlet close to a school.
As Irish consumers are increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of their menu choices, this will become an increasingly important factor for fast food restaurants over the forecast period. “Food miles”, and their associated carbon footprint, have become a very important consideration for Irish consumers, so locally sourced and produced food is in demand.
A number of Irish-owned chains expanded aggressively and attain significant value shares in the review period, despite the presence of much larger multinationals. In 2017, burger fast food was the biggest subcategory in value sales terms, and McDonald’s the overall leader in fast food in value share terms.
In burger fast food, the domestic chain Supermac’s increased its share of outlets and value sales in 2017. The Irish-owned enterprise was founded by a former teacher, Thomas MacDonagh, in 1978.
“No fry” zones have negatively impacted the expansion of fast food outlets within a certain distance of schools. However, this measure will not apply to the bakery fast food chain Subway.
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