McDonald’s wants you to ‘Know Our Food’
McDonald’s South Africa recently implemented a ‘Know our Food’ marketing project to help their consumers better understand just what actually goes into McDonald’s burgers and fries.
On 28 February, a media event was held, during which the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Greg Solomon, and Chief Marketing Officer, Daniel Padiachy, talked about the company’s products. The night also showcased a few of their important farm goods suppliers, accompanied by a video shot of each one’s farm.
Norman Rametse and his wife Sinah are in charge of supplying all of the chicken McNuggets, Chicken Foldovers and McChicken Burgers. The Rametses started with only a 100 hectare farm, but have since grown it into one of the biggest poultry farms in South Africa. “I remember there was a day that we were going to our farm when we saw trucks loaded with chickens. It was early in the morning, at about eight o’clock. Then we came back in the evening, again at about eight o’clock … those trucks were still loading chickens from the same farm. Then Sinah said ‘I wish one day we could have a chicken farm and do the same. On the first day our chickens were loaded, we cried,” Norman said.
Dr Elias Monhla was also at the event, talking about how his farm supplies the potatoes to McDonald’s. He mentioned how difficult it is to make money as a farmer and that it is definitely not a way to make quick money. Today, the Monhla farm is the main employer in its area.
Thys and Esté Fourie are the big names in McDonald’s beef lineup and talked all about the legacies farmers leave behind to their families – Thys being the third generation on the farm – and that a farmer needs to have a passion for what he does. Many fans of the brand will agree that that passion can surely be tasted in every bite of every beef burger on the McDonald’s menu.
Greg and Daniel also took to the stage and answered a few questions from the crowd. When asked about whether South Africa will be getting more products from the American McDonald’s menu, like the Big Mac Bacon or Cheesy Bacon Fries, Greg answered, “I have good and bad news for you. McDonald’s South Africa provides Halaal food. So, we haven’t got bacon on our menu. But we hope to bring you all the other famous products.”
Responding to the question of why McDonald’s started with the Know Our Food project at this stage in time, Greg said, “When you’re building a brand in a country, you come in and you’re a big American brand, and you’re bringing the famous American hamburger to South Africa. We built our brand on McDonald’s being quick and fast and cheap. If it’s all about the customer, the customer wants to know what’s in their food.” Daniel added that it’s all about “… accountability and transparency, 100 per cent of the time.”