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McDonald's is a multinational quick food corporation that is now battling deep-seated stereotypes of excessive junk food eating and habits within its present and prospective customers (Vignali, 2001). As a result, the company has adopted healthy-living sensitization and green environmental in-house strategies that have held it at the forefront of the global market.
According to Jeon, Meiseberg, Dant, and Grünhagen (2016), McDonald's, like all other fast-food chains, is often associated with "junk food." This is one of the most frequent allegations levied at McDonald's; in fact, it is accused of serving a diet high in fat and sugar. Menus do not correspond to balanced meals. One can note this criticism; for example, when we make a search of images on the internet, by writing 'MacDonald’s,' we easily find images that illustrate obesity.

A film was even made in 2004 to show the damages and adverse health effects caused by MacDonald’s food on "big consumers," i.e. people who eat there very often. In the movie: super-size, Morgan Spurlock decides to feed exclusively at McDonald's for a month, followed by three doctors. The goal is to measure the health impact of this food, which is responsible for the weight problems of consumers.

To change its image and face this criticism, the brand has decided to react, which is why it now promotes vegetables and fruit. According to Jeon et al., (2016), the chain has seen an evolution of the menus: in fact, there is now a choice of various salads and "fruits à croquer" as new dessert in Happy meals (they are simple pieces of nature’s fruits), and recently they are even accessible outside the children's menus.

Similarly, McDonald's uses many images of fruits and vegetables: on their website, on flyers, in the decoration of many McDonald Outlets, and even on the set of trays. McDonald’s also wants to play transparency with its customers, which is why the daily nutritional reports are posted on the packaging (energy value, calorie content and weight). The goal is to empower consumers.

Sport

According to Kane (2016), McDonald’s promotes sport, especially with children. A 179-step tour was organized through the major cities of France in partnership with the National Olympic Sports Committee, the "Kids Iron Tour." Thanks to this action, about 10,000 children were able to practice triathlon, fencing or tennis in 2008.

Furthermore, in some McDonald's institutions such as Bar-Le-Duc, the playground has been replaced by sports games (Kane, 2016). You can find there: a race of speed through a course, video games (car racing) whose joysticks have been replaced by bikes (you have to pedal to advance) and a basketball basket.

Sustainable Development

The McDonald’s Group is very committed to putting sustainable development into practice. The reason is simple: attitudes are changing, and consumers are now aware of the impacts of pollution on the planet. “We are convinced that a consumer cannot love the brand without loving the company behind it,” said Delphine Smagghe (Director of Environment and Sustainable Development since 2005) (Jeon et al., 2016). Besides, McDonald's uses a lot of packaging for these products.

Sustainable Development in Practice

McDonald’s is committed to protecting the environment by reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, reducing the carbon footprint: its objective was to reduce its carbon footprint by 8% in 2010; in 2008 the target was met. Also, the chain embraces waste management (reduce waste and recycle materials), in addition to committing to reducing local nuisances (noise and smell).

Concrete Actions to Reduce Waste

The firm collects over packs protecting the raw materials. In other countries such as Germany, for example, waste oils are converted into biodiesel (this action may be implemented in in the United States).

Vignali, (2001) notes that McDonald’s also prefers to use cardboard packaging rather than plastic packaging, in addition to sorting its waste, and for practical reasons, it would like to engage in mechanization (natural biological process to degrade waste) because too few plants exist in most developed countries e.g. France.

Restaurants Are Also Involved In Sustainable Development

The new establishments often include wooden structures, low-consumption light bulbs; waterless urinals that save 250 cubic meters of water per building per year, and even some buildings are equipped with photovoltaic panels.

McDonald’s has put in place: "Eco-Progress," it is a software that allows controlling the activity of a restaurant around environmental indicators (electricity, gas and water consumption). Each restaurant also has a referring EcoProgress; it is a person in charge of the environmental approach of the restaurant (often a manager or a volunteer manager). According to Thorton et al. (2016), to motivate the McDonald’s teams created, the first edition of the "EcoProgress challenge." Several objectives are given to restaurants, and those who succeed are honored.

Conclusion

McDonald's three main keys to success are first of all to impose a common policy in all countries where the brand is located; in fact, it is a fast restoration that imposes a certain pace on employees. McDonald's opens restaurants with franchise status, to create proximity with customers, and to remain homogeneous with consumers, it uses standardization (Thornton et al., 2016). Despite McDonald's wanting coherence between these products, the multinational has to adapt to the diversities of our world, so McDonald's does not target the same audience. In developed countries like the United States of America, children are primarily targeted, so that in the developing world, the brand is more interested in young adults.

The supply of a restaurant comes from the country in which it is located; then the brand also adapts to the different cultures, beliefs, and tastes (Jeon et al., 2016). Finally, McDonald's latest strength is to face criticism, especially on health and environmental issues. Indeed McDonald's is often synonymous with 'junk food,' to defeat this stereotype fruit and sports have embraced by the restaurants: in the menus, in the playgrounds and even in the decor.

Also, McDonald's made arrangements, to be more environmentalists, for example, its main goals are to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and waste.

These reasons alone do not explain the success of the multinational, but it is in parts thanks to these three points that the marks with golden arches very present in the landscape, succeeded in conquering our planet without having yet invented the Hamburgers, or fast food.

McDonald's got the perfect recipe.

REFERENCE

Jeon, H. J. J., Meiseberg, B., Dant, R. P., & Grünhagen, M. (2016). Cultural Convergence in Emerging Markets: The Case of McDonald's in China and India.

Kane, G. C. (2016). How McDonalds Cooked Up More Transparency. MIT Sloan Management Review, 57(2).

Thornton, L. E., Ball, K., Lamb, K. E., McCann, J., Parker, K., & Crawford, D. A. (2016). The impact of a new McDonald's restaurant on eating behaviours and perceptions of local residents: A natural experiment using repeated cross-sectional data. Health & place, 39, 86-91.

Vignali, C. (2001). McDonald’s:“think global, act local”–the marketing mix. British Food Journal, 103(2), 97-111.

August 09, 2021

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