Not too long ago, value meals at fast-food chains meant an inexpensive way to eat while saving your money for something else. Thanks to the recession, however, value meals have become something else: About the only way you’re going to eat, period, dude. Sandwich chain Quiznos discovered as much in the course of a recent survey it commissioned from Opinion Research Corporation, whose recent telephone canvass of 1,000 adult consumers revealed that as the lunch hour draws nigh, Americans have been reduced to new lows. Like what? Twenty percent of people surveyed admitted they’d go on a blind date just for the free eats, and over 50 percent said they’d show up an in-law’s retirement party just to raid the buffet. Well over half of Americans now drop less than five bucks a day on lunch. And as though all of these facts weren’t embarrassing enough, a handful of respondents confessed to stealing co-workers’ lunches right out of the office fridge. Quiznos’ inventive marketing folks used this dismal data to help launch its new thee-buck “Toasty Bullet” sub, and that’s pretty creative thinking. At the same time, do we really need to be reminded how hard-up we all are? Note to Paragon Sporting Goods: Why not use the latest home-foreclosure data to help sell tents?
—Posted by Robert Klara