McDonald’s Fights To Change Its Junk Food Image
The home of the McNugget is trying to change its image. As more and more Americans pay very close attention to what they eat, McDonald’s wants to shake its reputation for serving cheap, unhealthy food.
How are they doing it?
By wooing reporters, bloggers and other so called “influencers.” They’re inviting these special folks to fancy, fresh dinners at McDonalds, and telling them about their new campaign. In exchange, they’re and asking them to write and speak about McDonald’s new healthier image. Smart.
They’re getting others to create the message for them.
Now McDonald’s means business. In the past 18 months, the chain has been taking baby steps to healthier options. They now have a chicken salad wrap with fresh cucumbers, you can get a salad instead of fries with your combo meal, and you can substitute egg whites into their egg dishes.
But, is their message falling on deaf ears?
CEO Don Thompson has said in the past, “We’ve got to make sure the food is relevant and the awareness around McDonald’s as a kitchen and a restaurant that cooks and prepares fresh, high quality food is strong and pronounced.”
He went on to say that with McDonald’s volume of customers, their produce was indeed fresh… “fresher than what’s in your fridge,” because they go through it so fast.
But, are you hearing the freshness message?
A quick scan of the McDonald’s Facebook page revealed a lot of pictures of Coke, burgers and bacon. If they really want people to think of McDonald’s as good, quality, FRESH food, they need to write about it more. Blog about. Share it in social media updates.
Studies show people still don’t think of McDonald’s as a place to get high quality food… in part because the prices are so low.
Also, Americans want more than just fresh.
Sure, McDonald’s promotes their yogurt parfaits and salads, but now people want organic produce and meats raised without hormones.
Is McDonald’s doing enough?
You have to give them credit for trying. They’re trying to change their messaging and are reaching out to bloggers and the media. However, they’re also a little stuck.
Since they started, they’ve been known for cheap, fast food. They would have to raise their prices to bring in the high quality food Americans want… and if they raise their prices… Is it really McDonald’s?
As McDonald’s reworks the messaging, chances are a lot of people will be resistant to the change. It’s hard to imagine a blogger who writes about healthy, organic family meals, telling her community of readers to “Go to McDonalds’ for a chicken wrap and side salad.”
Most people can’t ever imagine uttering the sentence, “Let’s go to McDonald’s for some healthy food.”
So, admittedly, it’s a hard mindset to change, but McDonald’s knows that, and they’re taking the right steps by trying to win over opinion makers.