McDonald’s newly introduced McWrap may be helping to boost the company’s perception with “healthy” US fast food eaters to levels approaching those of Panera Bread and Wendy’s, according to YouGov BrandIndex, the only daily brand consumer perception research service.
Subway leads its peers in perception among this group of consumers, while Panera and Wendy’s have been closely battling each other for second place since the beginning of the year with the “healthy fast food eater” demographic.
Wendy's is introducing grilled chicken flatbread sandwiches this spring in what is being seen as a challenge to Panera's menu.
Taco Bell, whose CEO Greg Creed just announced it wants to rid itself of the junk food label by exploring more balanced offerings, saw its score surge for two months past McDonald’s and Chipotle possibly tied to the build-up of its Doritos Cool Ranch Dos Locos. Maintaining that momentum may be a challenge: by late March, Taco Bell’s perception levels fell back below its peer set.
Chipotle had been about even with McDonald’s for the first two months of the year, but trailed off modestly at the same time that McDonald’s experienced its increase.
Subway, Taco Bell, Wendy’s, Panera Bread, McDonald’s and Chipotle were all measured with YouGov BrandIndex’s Impression score, which asks respondents: "Do you have a positive or negative Impression of the brand?” Results were screened for adults age 18 and over who have eaten fast food in the past month and self-evaluate their health as “excellent.”