Food is our common ground, a universal experience.

James Beard


The future of fast food, is happening right now, with consumers eager and interested to know more about what ingredients are in their food as well as the health and nutritional impact of what they are eating. Besides diet and health, consumers also became far more aware of what they are eating after the Listeriosis outbreak.


A fast food trend gaining momentum is nutritional analysis which is already available on most supermarket produce, with a table indicating the composition and Recommended Dietary Allowance, the appropriate serving size in a balanced diet and the percentage of one’s Guideline Daily Amounts (GDA). The GDA is a International recommendation system to assist consumers in eating a healthy, balanced diet.


Reducing or limiting sugar intake is a current trend, GDA recommends sugar intake to be below 90g a day. A amount that seems easy enough to stay below, at 22,5 teaspoons (tsps) of sugar (1 tsp equals 4g). One might argue that there is a very low possibility of using 22 tsps of sugar, out of the sugar bowl, every day and the answer is simply, ‘hidden sugars’. The vast majority of sugar consumed is hidden in the processed foods and drinks one consumes.


A comparison of the published nutritional analysis of seven popular fast food choices, including; Burger King’s Whopper Burger, KFC’s Colonel Burger, Steer’s King Steer Burger, McDonald’s Quarter Pounder and Big Mac and Corner Bakery’s Pies was recently conducted. The nutritional analysis revealed the Burger King Whopper Burger took top spot with 14g (3,2 tsps.) of sugar, right behind was McDonald’s Quarter Pounder and the King Steer Burger with 10g (2,5 tsps.).


Interestingly, we also found that South Africa’s leading pie franchise, Corner Bakery, based on their recently published nutritional analysis of the Classic Foil Pie and Burger Pie, surprisingly came in with far less sugar and fewer calories, 187 and 192 calories respectively, compared to the market leading burger options of the King Steer Burger, leading with 654 calories and the Burger King Whopper Burger, containing 566 calories.


The table below presents the nutritional analysis as published on the websites of the various brands:

Item Kilojoules Calories Total Sugar* Total Fat* Sodium Protein* Carbs* Fibre*
**Steers – King Steer Burger 2,737 654 10.4 38.9 1,539 49.1 28 6.3
**Burger King – Whopper Burger 2,369 566 14 25 780 33 51 0
***Mac – Big Mac 2,259 540 9 28 950 25 46 3
***Mac – Quarter Pounder 2,200 530 10 27 1,090 31 41 3
**KFC – Colonel Burger 2,046 489 6,8 15,6 1,247 34 51 3
ºCorner Bakery – Big Shot Burger Pie 806 192 <0.1 11,6 605 8.2 13,8 7,1
ºCorner Bakery – Classic Pie 786 187 <0.1 10.6 388 6,9 16,2 3,9

*                Per 100g

**              source : fatsecret

***            source : CalorieKing



With an abundance of information readily available, it pays to be informed as perceptions are often not correct and what you believe to be healthier choice for you is not necessarily a more nutritious option.


The future of fast food is undoubtedly healthy, conscious eating, even when you need the most convenient meal.

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