McDonald’s features several products on their menu that are permanent and do not change. Examples of this include their basic hamburger and cheeseburger, the Big Mac and the Quarter Pounder. After the initial development, these items remain on the menu for extended periods of time without undergoing significant changes. This strategy ensures that there is always something familiar for consumers on the menu.
In addition to its permanent product offerings, McDonald’s regularly develops temporary products. The McRib, for example, is a product that is offered only seasonally. The Big Ocean burger is an example of a burger that was developed as a temporary product, offered only for a few months in 2007. The purpose of this product development strategy is to give customers something new to experience on each visit and to experiment with new items that may become permanent.
As McDonald’s has expanded internationally, it has created several products to meet consumer demand in the local markets. In the Netherlands, for example, they have developed the McKroket, a burger featuring a typically Dutch kroket, a deep-fried, ragout-filled patty. In the Canadian province of Quebec, McDonald’s offers poutine, a traditional dish of french fries, gravy and curd cheese. Even in parts of New England and Atlantic Canada, they have developed the McLobster, their version of the local lobster roll sandwich. This strategy ensures that local customers have foods to fit their tastes.
In addition to developing new products for local markets, McDonald’s will also use an adaptation strategy whereby they take a product and modify it to fit local tastes. In India, for instance, the Big Mac has been modified into the Maharaja Mac which contains no beef, in keeping with local diets. In Greece, the Big Mac has been adapted to use a pita bread instead of a bun. Even the McLobster has been adapted to the McCrab in some U.S. markets where crab is a common food.
1. What statistical analysis would McDonalds have used when studying these market trends?
2. What comparative market information would have been used during the research?
3. What performance could have instigated the changes?
4. What has McDonalds achieved in keeping up with market trends?
5. List 2 other examples of how ‘Fast Food’ outlets have adapted to current market trends.