Fast food operators continued to broaden their menus in order to offer a wider selection of meals and snacks at a wider range of price points to attract customers of all budgets in 2017. Many opted to offer value for money in the form of promotional pricing, targeted meal time deals, weekly specials and loyalty programmes, while some fast food chains continued to offer smaller menu items at lower prices.
Chained chicken fast food was the most dynamic category within fast food in 2017, which was partly due to the growth of leading players KFC, Chicken Licken and Nandos, but also due to US chain Popeyes Louisiana Chicken opening its first three stores in Johannesburg. Chicken is by far the most popular type of fast food in South Africa and franchising is seen to have plenty of potential within the country.
There is growing health and wellness awareness in South Africa with it suffering from high rates of overweight and obesity in both children and adults, with these rates continuing to rise at the end of the review period. As a result, some consumers are showing greater concern over what they eat, which is being reflected in the offer from fast food operators.
KFC maintained a strong lead in fast food in 2017, which is thanks to the widespread popularity of fried chicken in South Africa and the strength of the brand, with its special recipe. The franchise offers a wide range of options, including meal deals and promotions, mini meals and sharing meals, with it adding new items on a regular basis, such as its new range of Zinger burgers.
Burger King witnessed the most dynamic growth in current value terms in 2017, having only entered South Africa in 2013. The chain has invested heavily in marketing and promotion to generate brand awareness, with it running a humorous television advertising campaign in 2017 for its Tendercrisp chicken burger which featured a couple acting out sketches that relate to the qualities of the burger.
Due to the increasing demand from consumers for healthy, fast and casual food options, healthy fast food operators, such as Kauai, performed well during the review period. Kauai offers super foods, such as an anti-oxidant smoothie, which contain acai berries, goji berries, raspberries, banana, pineapple, coconut-infused water, almond/macadamia nut butter, and agave.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Consumer Foodservice market research database.