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Monthly Archives: March 2013

Can McDonald’s new line-up attract the millennials it’s looking for?

 

With their incredible spending power, it’s no wonder companies are so interested in getting the millennial’s attention these days.

On top of their record spending, they offer something maybe even more valuable. Influence.

In a recent article in AdAge, Gary Stibel, CEO at New England Consulting Group, says that older consumers are increasingly learning from their children.

I can personally attest to this statement from the hours spent helping my mom navigate her iPhone and explaining Twitter to my dad.

That being said, McDonald’s doesn’t even rank in the millennial’s top 10 restaurant chains.

I can’t say that I was surprised by this statistic. While the fast food giant has become an institution in American culture, they haven’t done much to appeal to this influential generation.

Millennials, generally recognized as 18-32 years old, place an emphasis on characteristics such as social responsibility, sustainability, and healthier food choices, generally characterized by local and/or organically grown ingredients.

Not surprisingly the company famous for giant burgers and greasy fries has found itself slightly outdated.

In an attempt to reconnect with millennials, McDonald’s has unveiled what they have referred to as the “Subway buster” in the form of the McWrap.

This is their answer to other restaurants who provide the same fast service, but with fresh, customizable food like Subway, Qdoba, and Chipotle to name a few.

The McWrap will feature the choice of crispy or grilled chicken and will come in chicken & bacon, chicken & ranch, or sweet chili chicken. According to McDonald’s nutrition information, the new wraps range from 360 to 600 calories. A quick look shows that most McDonald’s burgers are easily under 600 calories with the famous Big Mac weighing in at 550 calories.

For me McDonald’s may have missed the mark on the “healthy” but I must commend them on their efforts to make a more customizable menu option. I still do not think that the McWrap will be able to compete with Subway, who offers a limitless variety of choices and when you consider their fresh vegetables and sauces, so to call this a “Subway buster” may have been a little ambitious.

McDonald’s is missing a huge opportunity to attract millennials in their handling of the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Millennials have become known as a charitable generation. Everyday we hear about a new group or organization, usually headed by ambitious young people, set out to do good.

Many companies have made it the focus of their organization. Tom’s shoes, for example has completely integrated their One for One movement into their identity as a company. Much of Tom’s advertising is focused primarily on their cause, allowing that to promote their products.

My recommendation to help McDonald’s appeal to this socially driven generation would be to highlight the good they do through organizations like the Ronald McDonald House. Across a good part of the globe, McDonald’s is synonymous with burgers, there is no secret or mystery involved. To reach millennials, they need to offer more than just food.