The idea of “fast food” has been around since before the 1920s. However, the real emergence of the industry was not until the late 1940s following the Second World War. Military based towns were desolate during the war. Once the war was over, there were many more mouths to feed and more places to put restaurant franchises. This coupled with the passing of Eisenhower’s Interstate Highway Act and the sheer drive of fast food pioneers allowed franchising to be very successful. People were able to take their new cars on the highway and take convenient off-ramps to “speedee service” restaurants (Schlosser, 20). Ray Kroc, founder of the McDonald’s corporation, has created a revolutionary franchise that has become a household name all over the world. There are many theories on how this and other fast food corporations reached such success. One of the major reasons is the strategic segmentation of the human race; groups of people have been targeted as prime consumers of fast food. To consume, by definition, is to purchase goods for one’s own desires. The fast food industry has become just that, a desire to people of all statuses in society. In Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation, the impact that the fast food industry has on children, parents and the foreign population as consumers is arguably detrimental in its use for economic success.
The fast food industry targets many demographic groups in our society. Children are subjected to the billion dollar advertising campaigns that fast food restaurants create. Kids are enticed to purchase fast food before they can even earn money. This is where the industry makes their killing; by advertising to young children, parents are pressured to buy goods from the fast food restaurants. “It’s not just getting kids to whine. It’s about giving them a specific reason to ask for the product” (Schlosser, 43). Although it is not the children specifically giving the cashier money for products, they have the tremendous power of leverage...
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