How Stunt Foods are Changing The Food Industry

How Stunt Foods are Changing The Food Industry
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Ever heard of a "stunt food?" Do Doritos Locos Tacos ring a bell? How about the infamous KFC Double Down? These dishes are known as "stunt foods" which generally merge two established meals, snacks or desserts into one and serve to celebrate indulgence. Stunt foods also attempt to blur the lines between conventional meal categories like the ice cream sandwich that resembles a hamburger at Carl's Jr.

Barb Stucky, food industry expert and author of Taste: Surprising Stories and Science About Why Food Tastes Good, aptly calls these decadent creations "shock and awe foods."

With many national food chains pushing their healthier options, more indulgent meals like the Burger King Bacon Sundae evoke such awe that they become big hits according to Megan LoDolce, a food marketing researcher from the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity: "When one of these chains comes out of left field and introduces something so shockingly indulgent, it's like a release from the onslaught of fear-mongering about our health."

Two forces have helped to generate this surge of stunt foods: Developing novel products to satisfy the customer and social media.

Exciting the consumer has always been a huge priority for the food industry, but the competition is fierce. According to the NPD Group, the amount of unique items on fast food menus has doubled in the US since the 90s, which increases the demand to grab the consumer's attention.

Social media on the other hand has made food execs question the role of traditional advertising. By creating foods that are seemingly difficult to ignore, the products can go viral.

Check out the slideshow above to find out which stunt foods are changing the food industry today.

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