The North American Fast Food Industry
How it works
The emergence stage, or the introduction stage, is where entrepreneurial firms are seen entering the industry with hopes to one day emerge as the leader in the market. In the emergence stage, I think the North American fast food industry would have had many small competitors.
Since it would have been a fairly new industry, there would have been lots of room for new entrants. Also, since it would have been the industry’s early years, there would have been lots of uncertainty about the future of the market. This also leaves rooms for new entrants, especially those who are willing to take a risk, because the competitors would have a 50/50 chance at succeeding or failing in a new industry.
How it works
Finally, since it would have been a new industry, there would have been lots of room for innovation. A high degree of innovation allows new competitors to join the market and come up with innovative ideas to try and succeed in the market. For example, in the case it mentions how people may not be able to afford to eat at expensive places, leaving innovators to come up with a way for people that are on a lower budget to be able to still eat good food and not have to spend a lot of money.
The growth stage begins when the market is based on one single design or approach. One characteristic is the growing sales. For example, the case states how companies are rolling out with specialty items that are more expensive but may bring in new customers. In this stage, the fast food items may start appealing to a wider market as people are not more aware of the fast food industry and they know more about the future of the industry.
Finally, new entrants may still join as the industry is still relatively new and there would still be room for new competitors. As companies who have been in the market for longer may continue growing, it is not guaranteed that new entrants will be able to compete in such a rapidly growing industry but there is still lots of room for new competitors to try to catch up and eventually surpass their competitors, if possible.
The maturity stage is when the industry is relatively stable and there is not much action in terms of growth. Firstly, incremental improvements are one of the characteristics that indicate that this industry is experiencing the maturity stage. In the case, it mentions how companies are starting to introduce specialty items. These companies are trying to differentiate their products from that of their competition’s. Also, another characteristic is lots of advertising. It mentions in the case how McDonald’s increased how much it spent on advertising by about 7%.
They did this in order to differentiate their products from their competition’s. Finally, the third characteristic that indicates that this industry is in fact in its maturity stage is the price wars. Companies are introducing their specialty items that are more expensive than their regular menu. This is done strategically as to bring in new customers and steer them away from the competition with the cheaper food. These three characteristics, along with the examples provided from the case, indicate that the fast-food industry is currently in its maturity stage.