The popularity of fast food companies such as McDonald’s have plunged to a 5-year low among American consumers, a new report reveals.
According to the American Consumer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), the fast food industry has seen a near four percent drop in consumer satisfaction in just the last 12 months, with McDonald’s once again ranked as the least satisfactory company.
“Customer satisfaction with full-service restaurants is steady at 82 (out of 100), but fast food outlets are dragging with a 3.8% decline to 77, the category’s lowest point since 2010,” the report states.
Speaking with CBS News, ACSI Research Director Dr. Forrest Morgeson indicated that price was no longer the major factor for consumers, but instead the quality of the product.
“The industry overall was really driven down by a big drop in McDonald’s, because McDonald’s has such a large market share and is such a big part of the industry,” Morgeson said. “What happens to McDonald’s tends to happen to the rest of the industry, a little more exaggerated.”
The report notes that despite attempts to “turn around its slump” by offering healthier alternatives, McDonald’s continues to be rejected by a growing number of Americans.
“The world’s largest fast food chain has posted six straight quarters of decreasing U.S. sales…” the report adds.
In contrast, companies like Chipotle, which was ranked number two in satisfaction, continue to profit from health-conscious policies.
“Newer brands like Chipotle also benefit from consumer preferences for organic foods, non-GMO ingredients, and healthier alternatives by making these factors part of their mission,” the report says.
McDonald’s slow move to elicit legitimate change on its menu has led to major closures across the globe, with as many as 700 stores set to disappear by the end of the year.
“The world is starting to ask what they’re truly eating in their food — and the new conglomerate of natural grocers and restaurants are trailblazing the way into an entirely new economic environment,” noted Natural Society’s Anthony Gucciardi last February.
In response to its dwindling sales, McDonald’s announced last May that it would no longer report monthly same-store sales results in an attempt to calm investors.