The Fast-Food Industry’s $4.2 Billion Marketing Blitz
Yale's Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity has just put out an extraordinary report [PDF] on fast-food industry marketing. Here's the report's headline number: $4.2 billion, which is how much the industry spent marketing its wares in 2010.
November 10, 2010 | Source: Grist Magazine | by Tom Philpott
Last week, I praised fast food, which has probably been around as long as people have lived in cities.
there’s a particular type of fast food that goes back just a
half-century, dating to the post-war rise of car-centered cities and
It relies on regimentation, weird additives, flavor “engineering,”
super-cheap (but highly subsidized) ingredients, and super-expensive
marketing. I won’t bore you with why I think this type of fast food
sucks; wouldn’t want to be labeled a food snob!
But let’s talk about that marketing. Yale’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity has just put out an extraordinary report [PDF] on fast-food industry marketing.
Here’s the report’s headline number:
$4.2 billion, which
is how much the industry spent marketing its wares in 2010.
put that amount in perspective, consider the Center for Nutrition
Policy and Promotion, the USDA’s sub-agency that “works to improve the
health and well-being of Americans by developing and promoting dietary
guidance that links scientific research to the nutrition needs of
consumers.” Its annual budget? $6.5 million, according to
The New York Times reporter Michael Moss.
$4.2 billion vs. $6.5 million. That means that for every $1 the
industry spends haranguing Americans to eat stuff like Burger King’s
2,500-calorie Pizza Burger, about a tenth of a penny gets spent urging folks to eat their spinach.
And of course, as Moss’ superb recent piece shows, the USDA also openly collaborates with the industry to cajole people to eat more corporate fast food.