The Breakfast Wars may not be what they seem


As the fast food giants offer more and more new breakfast items, the overall goal may not be to get you to prefer one sandwich over another; it's to get you to into the habit of eating fast food breakfast.

Dr. Betsy Gelb is a professor of marketing at the University of Houston. She says fast food breakfast started decades ago.

"When people were newly widowed or divorced they were advised to go out for breakfast."

She says it’s doubtful McDonald's really expects you to switch from Burger King or vice versa.

"It's more of what I'll call smart communications than it is an actual belief that they'll switch somebody from fast food outlet a to fast food outlet b."

Dr. Gelb says all of the fast food giants benefit from getting us to talk about new breakfast items. The idea of a new breakfast sandwich isn't necessarily to get you to go to a particular restaurant, but to get you in the habit of going to any of them for breakfast.

"The idea is if you grow the pie, which is how many people want to eat breakfast out, pretty soon that becomes, gee, kind of a normal thing to do -- and, of course, that benefits all of them."

Dr. Gelb says no matter what they advertise, many of us will only go to restaurants that are on the way to work.


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