Customer relevance is always top-of-mind at McDonald’s and customer touchpoints on hot button issues for all chain restaurants today according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®
Regular readers of this blog know that our Grocerant Guru® continues to tout that one of the hallmarks of the grocerant niche is the ‘halo’ of better-for-you. Consumers are dynamic not static and McDonald’s understands that as a key player within the grocerant niche everything that they do to ‘get better’ add relevance for consumers.
So, McDonald’s is testing wooden spoons and edible condiment cups replace less eco-friendly options at "Better McDonald's" locations in Germany. McDonald's currently has more than 1,470 restaurants scattered throughout Germany, but for 10 days in June, customers at its location inside the Mall of Berlin had a completely different experience when they ordered a Hamburger Royal Käse or a Schokolinsen-Saurer Apfel McFlurry. If that taste as good as it sounded that would be enough for me but not McDonald’s.
So all of the test stores service burgers in packaging made from grass and they could've eaten that McFlurry with a small wooden spoon. From June 17 through June 26, the restaurant temporarily reinvented itself as the Better McDonald's Store — and, from a sustainability perspective, that wasn't just a clever name according to press reports.
So, the ‘Better McDonald's’ Store was completely plastic-free, which allowed the company to test out some alternatives to single-use plastics and to receive customer feedback on each of those items. In addition to paper straws, wooden cutlery, and grass-paper burger cartons, condiments and dipping sauces were served in edible waffle cups, and Chicken McNuggets were handed out in paper bags instead of cardboard cartons.
Diana Wicht, the Sustainability Department Head for McDonald's Germany, said in a statement said "Normally, McDonald's goes out with perfect solutions. This time we said, 'We don't have perfect solutions yet… please help us!'"
On note, earlier this year, McDonald's replaced the plastic straws in its U.K. locations with paper straws, and they weren't exactly well-received: more than 53,000 people have signed a petition asking McDonald's to bring back the plastic. (The campaign creator's reason for his big ask? "So I can drink my milkshake proper.")
Reports from Germany as far as Berlin's Better McDonald's went, the McTesters gave high marks to the grass-paper packaging and to the fully edible sauce cups, but they weren't sold on wooden cutlery, with almost half of those surveyed describing the taste of the spoon as 'woody.' Cleary no pun intended.
Canadian versions of the Better McDonald's Store are being tested in Ontario and British Columbia, and Food & Wine has reached out to McDonald's to see if there are any plans for a similar concept in the United States. How are you testing disruption? What’s in your supply chain pipeline? How many customer touchpoints would you have to change to drive incremental relevance?
Foodservice Solutions® specializes in outsourced business development. We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities or a new menu product segment and brand and menu integration strategy. Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma WA is the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant/ or twitter.com/grocerant