Let’s Talk About Fast Food For 30 Seconds

My good friend, Michael McDougall, at EDF Man Capital Markets in NY, released a nice titbit yesterday about the US fast food industry.

He noted that “there are over 200,000 fast food stores in the US and the industry employees over 4 million people, adding 200,000 in 2015 alone. Hamburger chains dominate with a 30% market share, pizza 15%, sandwich shops 12%, Chicken 8% and Mexican food 7%” and the rest are unspecified food joints.

This prompted me to look at the South African picture, so I did a quick search and came across an interesting report by Insight Survey which spells out the current market dynamics of the South African fast-food industry.

It’s evident from the report that South Africans love their chicken. The chicken was flying high, accounting for more than a third of the total fast food market, followed by burgers, pizza and fish reeling in at fourth place.

In 2016, the number of chicken joints was 1 504. Trailing behind by just a handful of stores, burgers, were also amongst the country’s fast food favourites with 1 493 outlets. The pizza was third on the list with 999 stores. Fish are perhaps not a favourite of many, with just 376 fast food joints. Other unspecified joints totalled 410 (see featured image).

I should have warned you that reading this article might give you ideas of approaching one of these delectable fast food joints. Unfortunately, I won’t be joining you today, I packed a sandwich to work.


Follow me on Twitter (@WandileSihlobo). E-mail: wandile@agbiz.co.za

Author: Wandile Sihlobo

Wandile Sihlobo is an agricultural economist and head of agribusiness research at the Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) in South Africa. He is a columnist for Business Day and Farmers Weekly magazine. Sihlobo is a member of the South African Agricultural Economics Association. He has previously served as an economist at Grain South Africa. He holds a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from Stellenbosch University.

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