With the credit crisis having a “profound effect” on household spending in the U.K., according to the Telegraph, it seems fast food brands are having the time of their lives. There has been a veritable procession of good results from the likes of Domino’s, KFC, McDonald’s, Subway and Gregg’s. All plan to open many more stores while creating thousands of jobs.
Is it possible, however, that in their hurry to leverage their recent success, these brands are setting themselves up for a hard landing when recovery kicks in? The current economic crisis may change mind-sets for the long term—causing a deep re-evaluation of spending and lifestyle habits—thus fostering a permanent love for affordable brands among mainstream consumers. But it’s also possible that this shift is nothing more than a short-term coping strategy. Given that aspirations are more likely to be bottled temporarily than shelved permanently, it may be a good idea for brands to closely follow consumer psyche and behavior down and up the economy curve as they plan ahead—especially if “cheaper” is their only calling card.