You’d think if anyone was eating at McDonald’s it would be the Millennials. It’s cheap, tasty and fast – all things our Ys love. However, a new study has found that only one in five of that generation has ever eaten its flagship burger – the Big Mac.
A report in The Wall Street Journal says US Millennials have gone off the Macca’s Big Mac in favour of competitors’ healthier alternatives and better quality patties and toppings. McDonald’s in the US (as in the Australian market) has tried to play in the gourmet burger space but with little success.
According to the article, not only are the Ys not eating the Big Mac but burger sales across the range remain stagnant. The report noted one McDonald’s franchisee as saying the iconic burger had “gotten less relevant”.
It follows reports on B&T last week that traditional fast foods in the US – things like burgers and pizza were floundering – in favour of alternatives that were seen as healthier. Taco Bell, as an example, is booming in the US and again has its sights on the Australian market.
Yum Foods (owners of Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell) have also redirected a lot of marketing coin to the KFC brand in the US to great success.
But this is not to say it’s all gloom for McDonald’s. The global burger chain continues to do reasonably well in the Australian market. There are 940 stores in Australia which sell about $4 billion worth of burgers annually.
McDonald’s USA President Mike Andres recently said: “We have to nail it. How do we deliver the best burger at the speed of McDonald’s and, ultimately, at the value you’d expect from McDonald’s? That’s what we’re working towards.”
In the US, store franchisees have complained that the menu – which now includes all-day breakfasts – is too complex and tries to be all things to all people. The other problem is that 70 per cent of Americans get their McDonald’s at the Drive-Thru meaning burgers are pre-cooked and cold and the fries soggy.
Larry Light, a former CMO of McDonald’s, told The Wall Street Journal that rather than constantly introducing new products the company should simply improve the ones they do have. “Every time they go outside of their space, they fail,” Lights said, adding that the company should stick to improving their “staple” burgers like the maligned Big Mac.