Somebody better put out an APB on Jared Fogle, the Subway spokesmodel for fast-food dieting. Yum! Brands'
Christine Dougherty says in new TV ads and at this website that she lost 54 pounds eating Taco Bell tacos and burritos. Taco Bell calls it the Drive-Thru Diet menu, and it features seven a la carte items, each bearing less than 9 grams of fat and ready-made for the drive-thru diner.
"I reduced my daily calorie and fat intake by 500 calories, to 1250 calories a day," Christine says at the site, which includes pictures of her showing off her bikini body.
It's an interesting pitch, but investors needn't get too excited. Yum! isn't about to set off a fast-food feeding frenzy, nor will binging dieters balloon Yum!'s earnings. That job's been left to hungry folks in developing nations, who only recently enjoyed their first tastes of Yum!'s KFC, Pizza Hut, and of course Taco Bell.
We've also seen stunts like this before. Anyone else remember McDonald's
Stunts are par for the fast-food course. Witness Burger King
Let's be honest here, OK? For fast-food joints, healthy eating is a sideshow, a one-off benefit that's a distant third place to consumers' true interest in low cost and convenience. Busy Americans count grease as the price of handling a compressed schedule. Taco Bell and Christine won't do any better than Jared has at changing that, because they're merely marketing tools.
Sure, Christine might help Yum! coin a little extra cash, but probably not enough for it to matter to your returns as an investor.
If you really hope to profit from the dieting and exercise trends, try investing in businesses whose profits are actually tied to healthier choices -- Weight Watchers
That's my take. Now it's your turn to (ahem) weigh in. Do you like the new Taco Bell campaign? Does Christine inspire you? Are you more or less likely to invest in Yum! Brands? Make your voice heard using the comments box below.
Fool contributor Tim Beyers salutes you, Mr. Giant Taco Salad Inventor. He didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article at the time of publication. Check out Tim's portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Twitter as @milehighfool. The Motley Fool is also on Twitter as @TheMotleyFool. The Fool's disclosure policy doesn't see any lettuce.