Celebrating America’s Independents in Europe

I’ve been tracking the new American independent fast casual restaurants shortly opening in the UK and other EU countries at a time when obesity moves up the scale of top public health issues.

Just as the UK’s advisory body NICE issued recommendations last week on the use of trans-fats and Americans prepare their 4th of July celebrations, the UK sees 3 American independent “fast casual” restaurants arriving to its shores — two Mexican menus (Taco Bell, Chipotle) and one American (Ruby Tuesday).

As the press plans coverage of the appetite for yet more American food concepts in Europe, consider how these brands will differentiate themselves in this already crowded market:

  • given Taco Bell was already once in the UK for about a decade from the mid-1980’s, it will need to be creative in how it starts afresh
  • Chipotle promises a high percentage of local sourcing and hormone-free meats as a key part of its brand proposition
  • consumers across the UK and Europe are increasingly concerned about their own and their children’s food habits, opting for healthier options helped by GDA labeling and improved health literacy
  • these 3 American food companies will need to combat the accusation that they are shaping social habits which encourage eating outside the home where more high-calorie foods are consumed and are unlabeled
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