Fast Food Breakfast Wars in the U.S:
Shots fired in the propaganda battle over Breakfast between Taco Bell and McDonald’s.
More and more Americans no longer eat their breakfast at home – a good reason for fast food chains to start the battle over breakfast customers. However, with the Taco Bell ads from last year about McDonalds dictators, some say that Taco Bell has crossed the line of bad taste.
If you didn’t catch the video ad last year, then you catch it here. With a surreal short film targeting its biggest rival McDonalds, Taco Bell started the cold war within the fast food industry in a creative way. The clip features Ronald McDonald as the emperor over a bleak empire full of boring food where the same dull breakfast is served every day. The aggressive and provocative campaign marks the current highlight within the fierce fight over the supremacy over the U.S. breakfast business.
Weapon of Choice: The All-day Breakfast.
McDonald’s is fighting back – not with video clips but on a business level. In October 2015, the market leader started to offer its breakfast all-day long in all U.S. restaurants instead of just a couple of hours per day. This could be significantly harder on Taco Bell than any ad would have been. In the U.S., breakfast is a booming niche for fast food restaurants as more and more people no longer eat their first meal at home. So far, in 2016, the results are good and McDonalds will keep their all-day breakfast indefinately. In fact, McDonald’s profits jump 35% in the first quarter of 2016, helped by the continued popularity of its all-day breakfast and other cut-price offers in the US.
This is why not only Taco Bell acts more and more aggressively when it comes to the breakfast business. Even Dunkin’ Donuts, Wendy’s and Starbucks are doing the same. Waffle sandwiches, scrambled egg donuts, warm snacks at the coffee shop – the breakfast offers around the corner are growing and growing.
Customers enjoy “Franken-Food”.
Experts think that the McDonalds breakfast was way overdue. Breakfast products such as McMuffins were one of the most popular McDonalds products and customers want more. However, the company faced one large logistical obstacle. “Our grills are not big enough for breakfast and lunch all day long” was the excuse that could be read on the company website until recently.
Taco Bell on the other hand is not faced with this problem. For more than a year, the popular Mexican fast food chain has been offering breakfast – and that the whole day long. Wild experiments with tacos, mince, waffles or scrambled eggs have earned the menu the name “Franken Food” in allusion to the Frankenstein experiments. Still, fans love the unusual creations – especially the hexagonal crunch wraps that are featured as symbols of resistance against the round McDonalds muffins.
Whether Taco Bell, which is owned by the industry giant Yum! along with Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pizza Hut, likes the campaign remains to be seen. The expert audience, however is split in their opinions about the ad video. Taco Bell was an underdog and therefore had to act scrappy to get attention. The clip has certainly had this impact, claims the US trade journal “Adweek”. In light of the mass executions and other war crimes of Stalin and the Mao regime it had alluded to, however, the whole thing was a little tactless.
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