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The Washington Post reports that while the institution of an all-day breakfast menu may have given McDonald's a "badly needed sales jolt," it has not proven to be "a panacea for what ails McDonald’s."

The fast feeder said yesterday that its most recent quarterly US same store sales were up just 1.8 percent, described as "tepid growth, especially considering it’s a year-over-year comparison to a quarter in which sales sank 2 percent."

To be sure, the Post writes, "adding the anytime breakfast accomplished important things for McDonald’s: It showed customers that the company was listening to them. And it demonstrated to investors that new chief executive Steve Easterbrook is willing to take bold steps — not just make incremental tweaks — to try to pull the burger chain out of its rut. But, even though McDonald’s plans to make more items available on its all-day breakfast menu later this year, the offering appears to be bumping up against its limits in terms of its ability to drive long-term sales growth."

The Post goes on: "As the company tries to solve the problems that are particular to its brand, it will have to do so against what appears to be a backdrop of gathering storm clouds for the industry overall. Fast-food behemoths including Dunkin’ Donuts and Yum Brands, the parent of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, have said a softness in the U.S. restaurant marketplace overall weighed on their businesses in recent months. According to market research firm NPD Group, traffic was flat at quick-service restaurants in the latest quarter and was down 2 percent at fast-casual spots" - the first time the fast casual numbers have been down since NPD started tracking the segment.
KC's View:
It would appear that supermarkets may in fact be looking very good to consumers when compared to fast food and fast casual restaurants. has a similar story to the one in the Post, noting that "restaurant food inflation is outpacing the increases at supermarkets and the gap is widening, McDonald's Chief Financial Officer Kevin Ozan said on a conference call with analysts."

At the same time, Reuters points out, there is growing consumer interest in where their food is from, which tends to work in favor of grocers.

All of this may in fact be true, but supermarkets shouldn't start celebrating yet. These things tend to be cyclical, and so it is up to these retailers to use these trends as building blocks that allow them to construct stronger relationships with consumers that are woven together by concepts like better food, better nutrition, healthier meals, and lower costs ... not to mention the cultural benefits that can be realized when people cook and eat at home with their families and friends.