Eating a hamburger everyday is not unhealthy as long as you exercise and control your sugar intake, according to Richard Bergfors, CEO of Swedish burger chain Max Burger, which recently launched in Dubai.
“I have been eating hamburgers since I got teeth,” he told Gulf Business. “I eat hamburgers everyday and have done for my whole life. So I know they are not unhealthy – it’s just beef, breads and salads.
“But if you eat one hamburger and drink two litres of Coca-Cola, that’s not so healthy,” he said.
“The main problem related to food and obesity is not fat, it’s actually sugar. And people eat too much sugar more in terms of soft drinks and candy. That’s the biggest problem,” he added.
The fast food chain, which has its main Dubai outlet on Jumeirah Beach Road and all set to open its fourth outlet in the UAE, has 90 restaurants in Sweden and outlets in Denmark and Norway.
According to Bergfors, Max started a new menu range in Sweden over ten years ago called Delifresh, offering products low on fat, sugar and carbs, which they have introduced in Dubai as well.
“It is our responsibility to have alternatives to fries and soft drinks and we also have the responsibility to show these options to make it easier for consumers to choose them,” he said.
Along with introducing new alternatives, the company is also taking efforts to make all their products healthier, without compromising on the quality, stated Bergfors.
“I think eating too much of any food can be unhealthy. I really don’t think it’s only the fast food industry that is to blame for increasing obesity and diabetes. It’s a combination of things – people don’t move as much as they should and eat too much of everything.
“So we have to be clear and transparent in showing people that our food is not unhealthy,” he said.
The fast food chain chose Dubai as its first destination outside Scandinavia because of the tremendous opportunity here.
“We chose Dubai for two reasons – one is that our partner Landmark is based here, so that’s a good starting point,” said Bergfors.
“And two, Dubai is a very interesting market with all the brands here – it’s like a showroom for the entire Middle East. We started at the hardest place – competition here is super hard. But on the other hand, a lot of people, both tourists and locals, really like food and like to try new things here.
“It’s not an easy place to begin, but if you can make it here in Dubai, you can make it anywhere in the world,” he added.