As humans lean more health conscious these days, snack brands and high-preservative grocery store goodies — like peanut butter — have struggled.
On the flip, the past couple of years have, surprisingly, proved to be cash cows for fast food chains.
According to Goldman analysts, OG drive-thru brands like McDonald’s and Taco Bell — and pricey fast-casual ‘straunts like Chipotle and Shake Shack — have helped the fast food industry outperform the S&P by 27% over the last 12 months.
So what’s the deal?
Some of the credit is due to fast food companies investing in digital engagement — but there’s also another (more interesting) factor at play.
The fast-food industry’s surprising boost primarily comes from the increased pay of low-wage workers.
That’s right, we have ourselves another wacky economic indicator
Goldman’s research team estimates 70% of the industry’s growth over the past 5 years can be linked to rising wages and flourishing third-party apps like Uber Eats.
You would think rising wages would hurt the “cheap-food” industry (don’t hate, Panda Express is choice) but, as gas prices stay steady, the rising paychecks of minimum-wage workers is leading to more cash dropped at the drive-thru.