Monday, August 14, 2006

The Supposed Popularity of Fast Food

Back-of-the-envelope calculations can illuminate conventional wisdom.

For example, people get the impression that the majority of the population eats fast food.

But look at McDonald's last world-wide earnings report. $5.572 billion last quarter. Divide by 90 days, and by a $3 average meal price, and you get 20,637,037 meals a day. Well, even if that was all in the US, that's less than %7 of the population eating at McDonald's once each day. Let's say half that is in the US, though. So, if the fast-food industry is ten times the size of McDonald's, only about a third of the US population has a fast food meal every day.

The majority? They eat less branding than one would think.


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