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Fat Chance The skinny on marketing bad-for-you foods

By Geoff Williams

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

If you're an entrepreneur hoping to live off the fat of theland, your time has come. Even as The Centers for Disease Controland Prevention reports that obesity affects 20 percent of theAmerican adult population, consumers appear to be embracing fatty,high-calorie foods like never before. Most of the evidence of thistrend is anecdotal; some of it is downright amusing:,a potato chip portal that offers snack reviews, gets 200,000 hits amonth. Says its creator, Jeremy Selwyn, 32: "There's moreinterest in salty foods than I ever would have thought."

Not to mention sugar. How else can you explain ChristopherSell's success? Sell not only owns the ChipShop, afish-and-chips eatery in Brooklyn, but he also created the infamousdeep-fried Twinkie. "We put it on the menu more for the shockvalue than anything else," admits Sell, 37, whose restaurantbrings in $1.3 million annually and is working toward franchising."It's more of a talking point, but it has caught on."State fairs have begun selling the Twinkie, and Sell'srestaurant has received national attention for creating theconcoction.

In fact, the more fattening a food, the more attention anentrepreneur can expect, says James McKinnon, 37, owner ofDangerous Dan's Diner in Toronto. He's received muchregional coverage for his Coronary Burger: two 8-ounce beef pattiescovered with two slices of cheddar, four slices of bacon and afried egg--with french fries and gravy served on the side. He mayonly sell 50 a week, compared to 450 other burgers, but "thedamn thing is so ridiculous, people remember you for it," saysMcKinnon, who also serves 24 oz. patties in a bun.

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