McDonald's are trialling a ‘build your own burger’ menu in the US. ‘TasteCrafted’ gives diners the choice of three buns, three different meats, and four different styles of chef-inspired toppings. Go all out with a bacon clubhouse burger and caramelized onions or cut the calories with a grilled chicken and guacamole. Interesting. I wanted to know whether the British consumer would like to see TasteCrafted brought to the UK. And if not, why not?
McDonald's is my guilty pleasure. I don’t eat it as often these days as I am more aware of my health but when I do I know exactly what I want before I even get in the car. My order hasn’t changed much since my childhood so the TasteCrafted menu doesn’t do a lot for me. If I want gourmet food, I go to a high-end restaurant. If I want healthy food, I cook it. If I want a McDonald's, I go to McDonald's! I wonder whether the UK shares my sentiments, let’s find out.
Nearly half of our Product Lab research panelists say that they eat McDonald's less than they used to with a whopping 55% citing health concerns in their reasoning and another quarter who don’t trust the food quality. ‘It’s a long time since I ate at McDonald’s. Like lots of others I am watching my salt/fat intake.’
So would the TasteCrafted menu billed to highlight McDonald's use of fresher and more natural ingredients encourage other UK consumers to frequent McDonald's more often?
Yes! It’s not a huge win for the fast food giant but with 20% of our research panelists saying that they would be more likely to eat in McDonald's if they were to introduce TasteCrafted in the UK, it's a potential step forward. ‘If the 'Artisan bread' is as good as it sounds and filled with delicious bacon, they might well tempt me back.’
But what of the 80% who aren’t so keen on seeing TasteCrafted migrate across the water? Feeding back it became glaring apparent that UK consumers are far more interested in McDonald's improving their customer service and the quality and flexibility of their existing menu before new food items are introduced.
One panellist commented, ‘The problem with McDonald's is that staff can be bad in some and better in others so perhaps this needs addressing.’ And another, ‘I would rather see McDonald's changing its current offering to make it 'healthier' than add more choices, e.g. make its buns wholemeal, low fat cheese slice, low fat mayo dressing, etc.’ I would too! ‘McDonald's means burgers’ plain and simple but if I could reduce the calories in my familiar favourites I might be inclined to eat there more often.
Overall then, I would suggest you keep TasteCrafted in the US Ronald. That’s not to say we wouldn’t like some attention in Old Blighty. Stick to what you do best but do it better and quicker with a smile on your face. Let us go low fat if we choose to but don’t confuse us with a multitude of fancy alternatives. However often we now pass through the Golden Arches' today, 65% of UK consumers still do and we would like to get back to ‘loving it’.
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