Fast food was once seen as a quick, delicious, guilty pleasure for those of us who wanted a quick meal on the go.

Now, the once popular trend of greasy fast food is heading for its downfall.  These days, people are taking on a healthy mind-set, saying that quality food trumps low priced, low-quality dining.

Previously, those golden deep fried french fries from your favorite fast food restaurant may have been your number one pick, but nowadays, people want to feel that they are eating healthy. 2015 marks a record high number of health-conscious consumers and more people are concerned with healthy meals rather than happy meals.

Fast food has come a long way from when it started, and not for the better. Fast, convenient, semi healthy fast food is no more. These days a simple burger is put through a process and cranked out on a conveyer belt. What was once a guilty pleasure meal, is now stomach churning regret. Not only do consumers know that the products from fast food chains contain unknown, mysterious ingredients, but the food no longer tastes how it used to either.

As one empire declines, another rises. Fast casual restaurants have been heading uphill for some time now and seem to be of popular demand. Not only do fast casual restaurants tend to have healthier, fresher choices, they also have tastier, more appetizing options. These restaurants are also usually set up so that consumers can see how their food is being made, and everything is made-to-order.  Fast food restaurants tend to have everything shipped in frozen, and customers are unable to see how their food is being prepared.

It’s no surprise that fast food restaurants have a lot of work to do if they want to be included in today’s health-conscious competition.  Large chains are going to have to do a lot more than add apples to the menu if they want to keep up with what fast-casual restaurants have to offer. Through the pressure of rising healthy food, fast food restaurants either need to step up their game, or accept their fate of a declining empire.

Read Business Insider’s “Fast Food Is On The Decline In America”

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