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Ozon -- Still fast, less fat, kid-centric

Healthcare & Wellbeing

A newcomer in the fast food market that delivers food for kids (and adults) that's quick, healthier and fun. Not a single fried item on the menu: welcome to the new world of food on the go.

The much-discussed documentary flick “Supersize Me” demonstrates in (rather horrifying) detail exactly what a steady diet of fast food will do to the human body, but the big screen isn’t needed to see the scope of the problem: current statistics show over 37% of American kids are overweight, and more than 15% are clinically obese. The opposing issues of serious obesity-related health concerns and the entrenchment of fast food in American culture present a unique problem to parents who want their kids to eat more nutritiously. Sure, McDonald’s is now offering smaller portions, and has added deluxe salads and spring water to the menu, but sometimes a newcomer, unburdened by legacy, can set the new standards. Could it be Ozon, a new kid-centric fast food franchise that’s quick and healthy? “Kids in the know eat at the O”, Ozon’s website proclaims, and from the website and menu items to the store design, it’s clear Ozon has carefully crafted every aspect of the brand in a serious effort to catch the eye (and the business) of kids from toddlerhood to tweens. The restaurants’ aesthetics include funky facades in bright colors, and cool tech elements like flat screen TV’s. The six Ozon mascots are anime characters with kid-trendy hobbies like soccer, karaoke, skateboarding, and karate. Veggies, fruits, lean meats, and fresh breads baked in-house feature prominently in the tasty, creatively presented, affordable food selections. There’s not one single fried item on the entire menu, and Ozon even offers items for customers who have food allergies (like lactose intolerance, common in children and adults). Ozon currently has three outlets in NY and NJ-area malls, and they’re planning expansions in the US and internationally (the first international target is Seoul, Korea). The appeal of Ozon doesn’t end with kids – food franchise studies show the whole family often eats where the kids want to eat, and Ozon’s healthy menu is better than typical fast food for overweight parents, too.

Opportunities

The obesity epidemic is not just a problem for kids in the States: every consumer society now has its share of fast food outlets, and thus ballooning kids, from the UK to China! Restaurateurs, food service providers, franchise entrepreneurs, and food/lifestyle-related marketers should take note – start-up businesses like Ozon and Healthy Bites Grill (which we covered earlier on in our newsletter) are just the tip of the iceberg, and customers are more receptive than ever to the idea of fast-without-the-fat. Go with your gut here, and put turning the fast-food into a healthier, better looking version at the top of your to-do list.

Website: www.ozononline.com/

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