An expanding market


At the end of the day last Friday, a small group of United Publication employees gathered in Managing Editor Theresa Flaherty’s office to behold KFC’s new offering in the Philippines: the KFChizza.

It’s a pizza—with fried chicken crust instead of dough.

My arteries clogged just looking at it.

The nicest thing anyone could say about the new mash-up came from our sales rep, Jo-Ellen Reed: “At least the veggies look fresh?”

To be fair, they did. But I doubt the vegetables featured in a $350,000 commercial reflect the same quality in a $2.77 chicken pizza.

While this delicacy is only available in the Philippines, it made me think about America’s fast food obsession. Thanks to changing consumer habits, health conscious chains like Panera and Chipotle are taking a bite out of McDonald’s market share. However, with more than two-thirds of U.S. adults considered overweight, its clear that Americans consistently make poor dietary decisions.

According to an analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 75% of men and 67% of women ages 25 and older are now overweight or obese. That number has risen from 20 years ago, when 63% of men and 55% of women were considered overweight or obese.

Which got me thinking…

Obesity is bad. It leads to cluster of health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, heart attack, stroke and depression. But—and bear with me as I attempt to walk a fine, fine line—there are a host of companies that exist because of these diseases and conditions, which make a profit, while working to help improve the lives of those afflicted with said conditions.

So as I watch Philippino Justin Bieber presumably sing the praises of the KFChizza, I wonder if KFC’s customer of today will become the HME patient of tomorrow.