Fast Food Industry in Myanmar
Kay Kay
May , 2018

In today’s busy lifestyle, everybody wants to get everything they need in a ready-made and quickest way. Instant coffee, instant noodle, instant food, ready-made clothes, fast delivery services are increasingly popular and play a very important role in today’s fast paced lifestyle. Fast food businesses are also gaining a large market share in Myanmar.

What are Fast Foods?

Fast food is a mass-produced food that is prepared and served very quickly. Fast food is less nutritionally adequate, safe and healthy than other well-prepared and customized meals and dishes. The term typically refers to the foods sold in a restaurant or store with frozen, preheated or precooked and served to the customer in a packaged form for take away and self-service styles. With the limited time for preparing food at home,fast food consumption is signifcantly increasing all over the world. According to Food Institute’s analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, millennials alone spend 44 percent of their food budget on eating out. Fast foods can generally be classifed into two types; local fast food and foreign fast food according to their natures, features and service styles.

Local fast foods are available from small and independent vendors running shops mostly with the carts, tables, portable grills and motor vehicles. Shop designs and types of food sold typically vary depending on the culture, tastes and preferences of local people in the country. Many local small restaurants and food stalls serve Myanmar traditional food and recipes, desserts, street food, various kinds of vegetable and meat salads, crispy glows, cold drinks, etc. They are mostly seen in crowded areas, traditional markets and near community. They are independent and can be operated with small amounts of resources and capital. They are mostly targeted local markets and are operated by local vendors.

O n t h e o t h e r hand, foreign fast foods restaurants m a y b e s t a n d s , kiosks, outlets or restaurants chains which are mostly self-service or take away providers that promise quick service. They have indoor and outdoor seating areas where customers can have a social chat with their friends eating fast foods or customers can order and take away. In today’s updated information technology world, customers can also order fast foods from their homes with smart phones and delivery-men will fill their orders in a very quick way. Common food menu lists of foreign fast foods outlets are fried chicken, chips, fried potatoes, mashed potatoes, hamburgers, hotdogs, sandwiches, pizza, bakery and pastries, donuts, cookies, bread, salads, ice cream, coffee, tea, drinks, beverages, etc. Foreign fast food outlets are running not only to serve customers with fast food but also to create an open environment for social meetings.

Fast Food Franchises in Myanmar

Myanmar food and drink market is very appealing. Increasing disposable income, combined with large market, increasing fast food demands and ongoing economic reforms is attracting food and drinks companies into the country. Changing lifestyles and working women also makes the fast food industry more appealing to foreign investment. With an already successful business model elsewhere, franchising becomes an increasingly well-known business expansion strategy.

International fast food chains such as  KFC are getting a large market share and South Korean franchises such as Lotteria are becoming an important part of Myanmar people. Popular foreign fast food chains include KFC, Lotteria, Pizza Hut, Burger King, Marry Brown, The Pizza Company, Ya Kun Coffee & Toast, J’Donuts, Gloria Jean’s Coffees, Gong Cha, etc. These fast food chains usually expand their businesses widely through franchising strategies in emerging markets.

Fast food franchises normally adjust their products and services to the local culture and mostly run their outlets not only to serve fast foods but also to create a pleasant environment for social chatting providing convenient seating places and pleasant music. These franchises significantly create employment opportunities for the local people in the host country.

Health Risks of Fast Food

With the increasing disposable income and widely available fast food, fast food consumption rates rises up dramatically and awareness for health risks of fast food also need to be recognized. Fast food tastes good and costs little but they can harm the physical health of the consumers as they were claimed to be the primary case of diabetes, obesity, premature cardiac death, cancer, strokes. They can also hurt the mental health of the consumers causing depression and mental illnesses. Fast foods contain more calorie, fat, cholesterol, salt, sugar and fewer vitamins, minerals and other nutrients than in other nutritional foods. The USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans reports that these eating habits create nutritional deficiencies along with weight gain. The health problems that stem from overweight and obesity can negatively affect lifestyles  .

and shorten life spans.

According to a study published in the Public Health Journal, people who eat fast food are 51 percent more likely to develop depression compared to those who eat little or no fast food. This fnding was for people who only consumed two servings of fast food a week.

Another study published in circulation found that eating fast food one time per week increased the risk of dying from coronary heart disease by 20 percent – a risk that grew to 50 percent for people eating fast food two or three times per week. Regardless of negative effect on the health of consumers, fast food consumption and fast food chains are dramatically increasing. It is because of the positive features of fast food; readily available, reasonable price, socially acceptable, suitable for all, fast customer services, etc. After all, fast food ought to be consumed with health consciousness every time to live long a healthy life.

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