It's no secret that Americans love Big Macs, fried food, fat and oil. Manufacturers in the food industry recognize the customer’s desire to eat healthy, but delicious food at the same time. McDonald's, one of the nation's biggest fast food chain produced the McLean burger in response to the consumer's voiced desire for a healthier Big Mac. The McLean Deluxe, as it was called had a patty with 9% fat and was injected with seaweed and soybean. The McLean burger was quickly discontinued when customers continued to order the same traditional Big Mac and fries, over the McLean. Americans, unlike Europe, are slower to accept healthier alternatives to their normal diet.
While it's not an easy feat, manufacturers struggle to design the right appliances that allow customers to eat the exact same foods they love, while reducing the calories and saturated fats. Phillips came out with something called an air fryer in 2010, which is a new, healthy, portable fryer for the modern American kitchen. Unfortunately, air fryer reviews were not that great at that time. It is still finding its way and gaining popularity in American stores, but according to the Phillips website, sales have done well in parts of Europe. The name “air fryer”, like the McLean Deluxe has a foreboding healthy undertone to it, which might cause Americans to shy away from it.
European consumers have been way ahead of America in healthy, lean eating, and quite possibly are more receptive to this sort of technology. With the example of the McLean burger, Americans desire to be healthier, but seem to be unwilling to trade their traditional diet and taste of fried, fast food for a healthier alternative that doesn't compare to the real thing.
Provided the American customer is patient for extra prep time and has $175 - $300 extra dollars to spend, the air fryer may be right for them. With an increased prep time and such an expensive price tag, a marketing professional might ask, “how could we convince the American consumer they need an air fryer?” The answer is the air fryer’s portability, effectiveness, the lightness of the device and quality.
Also, it might not hurt to throw in some healthier oil alternatives into the recipes in the air fryer recipe book for a sharper edge to help promote the product. Many Americans, trained to look for words such as “juicy,” “rich,” “succulent,” and “mouthwatering.” They might see “air fryer” and wonder if the outcome will be too dry. Naming a product is important. Because of the influence of wording, the machine might be more suited to “crispy fryer” or “Phillips fryer.”
So how does the air fryer work anyway? The air fryer is preheated, food is placed in the pot and a fan is directly overhead of the food, which helps disperse the hot air flow. Hot air circulates around the bottom of the pan, which eliminates the need to turn the food over. An exhaust feature allows a small amount of heat used to cook the food to escape, helping maintain the appropriate pressure in the device.
Before escaping the exhaust chamber, it passes through a filter. Consistency in frying is evident with the circulation of hot air. Fried chicken, French fries and fried steaks are just a few menu options for the air fryer. The only major difference between the air fryer and the deep fryer is the absence of oil.
Like the McLean burger, Americans need to see and taste that the air fryer won't cheat them out of the crispy, rich taste and flavor of their traditionally fried foods. Proof of effectiveness in texture and taste is essential to the success of the air fryer. Portability, quality and effectiveness is also a must.
American manufacturers have constantly been working to improve devices and appliances in sleekness, size and durability, and they have achieved this with the Phillips air fryer. Portability is a plus in the sense that a person can easily lift the 7lb device. This quality might appeal to a student or professional who is constantly on the move or someone who travels to host parties, barbecues, dinners, or celebrations.
The effectiveness is apparent when comparing traditionally fried food over the air fryer, Phillips just needs to present this in a consumer filled environment. The air fryer is a competent competitor in terms of the outcome. The outcome is better for you and just as visually appealing as the real thing. The Phillips air fryer can turn wedge fries into crispy, flaky wedges with high powered heat and air. The taste test is the real challenge for marketing the air fryer, and the name must rightfully portray the outcome of the food.
Convincing the American customer the outcome of the food and price is worth it might be difficult. A good method next to billboards and effective advertisement is to have the air fryers set up at sample stands in grocery stores or marketing events. When customers compare the taste of air fried food next to traditionally fried food, their hands will have a hard time resisting throwing the air fryer into the shopping cart.
The only argument against an air fryer would be the obvious lack of oil in the flavor of whatever was fried. Alternatives could be used for a customer who is having too much trouble making the leap between deep fried and air fried.
Options such as using chicken with skin and using coconut oil or almond oil for French fries. It is an investment for the consumer's kitchen, but the potential the air fryer has is great. America may not give up its Big Macs, but some Americans may in time give up their deep fryer.