Decision Analyst Inc., a Dallas-based market research firm, conducted a survey of more than 16,000 consumers, asking them to name quick-service restaurants that they “trust completely,” “trust somewhat,” and “do not trust.”
Some 24.2 percent of respondents said they completely trust Subway’s nutritional claims, double the amount of the second-most trusted quick serve, Chick-fil-A.
“We believe what’s happened with Subway is … that they kind of own the whole healthy-nutrition-in-restaurants arena right now,” says Diane Brewton, senior vice president of the Market Intelligence Division at Decision Analyst.
“When [consumers] look at a [quick serve], typically what we hear is great-tasting food, that’s the thing that comes up, why they like it. But Subway’s been able to break through and really own this arena.”
Rounding out the top six quick serves that consumers “trust completely” were Quiznos at 11.1 percent, Wendy’s at 10.5 percent, KFC at 8.4 percent, and Taco Bell at 7.5 percent.
Brewton says that Taco Bell is a new player to the nutritional claim game with its drive-thru diet menu of al fresco items.
“What we’re seeing is that nutrition may be a tougher sell for Taco Bell,” she says. “People don’t typically visit Taco Bell, at least not right now, for their healthy menu.”
Brewton says that Subway had another important distinction coming out of the survey.
“Subway really stands out in terms of the fact that it has more people who completely trust than those who do not trust,” she says.
Only 16.2 percent of respondents said that they do not trust the chain’s claims.
Meanwhile, the other top quick serves did not fare as well with survey respondents. Some 38.1 percent of respondents did not trust Chick-fil-A’s nutritional claims, while that figure stood at 29.4 percent for Quiznos, 36.7 percent for Wendy’s, 46.3 percent for KFC, and 46 percent for Taco Bell.
By Sam Oches