McDonald’s VP comments on marketing to young kids

I thought his comments were interesting. Here are some tidbits:

  • “In the U.S. alone McDonald’s is buying 50 million pounds of apples, each year, more than anyone else.” (Though I wonder if this includes apples for their apple pies.)
  • “[…] when we redesigned the traditional, drab cardboard box of milk to a colorful, hand-held plastic bottle, low-fat milk sales in the United States doubled.” (I read that to mean low-fat milk sales at McDonald’s in the US doubled.)
  • “To put this topic in its proper context, McDonald’s Happy Meal customers on average purchase two a month.”
  1. #1 by Ren on August 13, 2007 - 10:44 am

    The original Google News content has disappeared, so I’ve pulled the full comment from the cache (Google’s, ironically):

    Comment by Walt Riker, Vice President, McDonald’s Corporate Communications
    google news comment Earning Brand Trust — Customers Respond to McDonald’s Progressive Actions – 19 hours ago
    McDonald’s brand has earned the trust of customers for more than fifty years. The strength of any brand depends upon its performance, every single day, and if customers decide for themselves that a brand can’t be trusted then they take their business elsewhere.

    Customers continue to tell us — to the tune of 52 million customers a day around the world — that they see McDonald’s as a brand they can rely on, and trust for safe, high quality food, including the millions of mothers and fathers who make the decision to take their children to our restaurants. It’s all about fun, too, and customers enjoy our restaurants as a unique and friendly place to go with their families.

    It has been well reported how McDonald’s has listened carefully to our customers, and that we have responded to their needs with our evolving menu of enhanced choice and variety. Our record sales results demonstrate that customers like what we are doing.

    Customers have enthusiastically responded to our promotions for fruits, vegetables, milk, yogurt, and salads, especially moms and families. Our recent promotion with “Shrek” represented McDonald’s single biggest worldwide promotion of fruit, vegetables and milk. In fact, when we redesigned the traditional, drab cardboard box of milk to a colorful, hand-held plastic bottle, low-fat milk sales in the United States doubled.

    The worldwide numbers continue to prove that our brand is delivering real choice and variety, and right-sized food for the whole family. And when we brand food that kids may not typically clamor for, we make a difference.

    McDonald’s is now serving on average every year…

    · Mixed greens Approximately two billion servings
    · Tomatoes: Approximately 600 million servings
    · Carrots: More than 51 million servings
    · Fruit Approximately 300 million servings

    In the U.S. alone McDonald’s is buying 50 million pounds of apples, each year, more than anyone else. Our fresh sliced apples, called “Apple Dippers”, are very popular with Moms, and are featured in our Happy Meal advertising.

    McDonald’s will continue to take a responsible approach to marketing and to all of our branded outreach to customers and communities.

    Here is the full text of our statement on the Stanford study:

    This is an important subject and McDonald’s has been actively addressing it for quite some time.

    In fact, McDonald’s own “branding” of milk, apples, salads, and other fruits and vegetables has directly resulted in major increases in the purchases of these menu items by moms, families and children.

    McDonald’s is only advertising Happy Meals with white meat McNuggets, fresh apple slices and low-fat milk, a right-sized meal of only 375 calories.

    Additionally, our recent program with “Shrek” was our biggest-ever promotion of fruits, vegetables and milk, another indication of our progressive approach to responsible marketing.

    To put this topic in its proper context, McDonald’s Happy Meal customers on average purchase two a month.

    The fact is, parents make the decisions for their children and our research confirms that we’ve earned their trust as a responsible marketer based on decades of delivering the safest food, the highest quality toys and the kind of choice and variety today’s families are looking for.

    McDonald’s is an advocate for progress. We listen to our customers and we take action as we continue to innovate and evolve.

    Like

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