As much as I try to avoid reliance on fast food when hungry (I’m not a young, energetic thing anymore, and there’s a limit to how much extra poundage I can allow myself to amass) a recent Burger Business article has piqued my curiosity about a new line of McDonald’s menu items already being rolled out to the masses.
McDonald’s Austria’s Facebook page announced the debut of a new menu item called McNoodles a few days ago. Featuring salad greens, sweet & sour or curry sauce, vegetables, and chicken, the limited-run dishes are aimed at bringing customers a more global sense of eating and dining. As a longtime proponent of food’s ability to bring people together, I consider this an admirable goal worthy of being supported. Even more recently, McDonald’s announced a wave of new similarly globally-inspired creations coming to its restaurants in continental Europe with the hope of energizing consumer traffic in stagnant economic times. To that end, an “Around the World in 80 Bites” promotion kicked off this week in Germany, offering up new babies such as the Big South African Beef Burger (flavored with fried onions and paprika) and the Thai Chicken Sandwich (bathed in spicy sauce, topped with peppers red and yellow.) Again, though I try not to overindulge in this kind of fare, I doubt I could resist having at least a bite of each if it were offered. I’d call it “research” and would do so with a straight face. Don’t judge me.
Hoping to gain through value-focused menus pushing limited-time availability selections, McDonald’s is also taking into consideration foreign interest in American culture and taste preferences. In Denmark, there’s the “Tastes of America” promo and its Chicago Star and Chicken Chicago Star. In Switzerland, the “Stars of America” menu offers up a selection of double-decker burgers featuring Texas chili, bacon, and other accoutrements. Italy even has a New York-inspired NYCrispy burger that has returned to its menu (clearly a success, if it’s been brought back.) Hopefully, these newer globalizing initiatives will prove as successful, since nutritional issues with fast food notwithstanding, there would seem to be obvious benefit to appealing to global tastes. Can’t wait to see (and perhaps eventually taste) what’s next.