• Tue, Jun 18 - 12:30 pm ET

Fast Food Companies Trying To Make Their Selections ‘Imperfect’ To Fool You

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You might not be able to tell delivery from DiGiorno, but we can all generally see the differences between fast food and the high-quality, homemade stuff. With food trends shifting more toward fondness for the latter, the fast food industry is trying to appeal toward people who want to see more imperfections in their foods, thus giving off the image of being less artificial.

Companies like McDonald’s and Wendy’s are doing as much as they can to appeal to customers who have requested a more “natural” look to their foods.

When stretching out the dough for its premium “Artisan Pizzas,” Domino’s workers are instructed not to worry about making the rectangles too perfect: The pies are supposed to have a more rustic look.

At McDonald’s, the egg whites for the new breakfast sandwich called the Egg White Delight McMuffin have a loose shape rather than the round discs used in the original Egg McMuffin.

And Kraft Foods took more than two years to develop a process to make the thick, uneven slabs of turkey in its Carving Board line look like leftovers from a homemade meal rather than the cookie-cutter ovals typical of most lunchmeat.

“The goal is to get the same action as if you were cutting with a knife,” said Paul Morin, a Kraft engineer.

Except…you’re not. And it’s so bizarre to me (yet completely understandable at the same time) that it actually fools people, or significantly appeals to people, when they see something that they probably know isn’t homemade but just had a similarly imperfect design.

I understand why the fast food industry is doing this — they’re giant businesses that have to go along with trends in order to maintain customer rates. However, it’s important for all consumers to be mindful of what they eat, and to not be tricked into believing that a factory-made Egg McMuffin is somehow the same as if you cracked a farm-fresh egg yourself and placed it on a local bakery’s English muffin.

Photo: Shutterstock

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