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Ronald McDonald, Locavore

July 27, 2010

Last week I saw a new commercial from McDonald’s called “From Here“. This is part of a new campaign that focuses on the fact that some of the food consumed at my (Washington State) McDonald’s is sourced “locally”. Potatoes, apples, fish, milk. Yes, McDonald’s has taken the burgeoning “Locavore” trend and turned it into a marketing pitch.

I am going to go out on a limb here and assume that the typical McDonald’s customer is not also someone deeply concerned with things like Locavore and Slow Food and Michael Pollan’s manifesto. Yet, the savvy marketers at McD’s have realized that there is something changing in the overall consumer zeitgeist and everyone is starting to pay more attention to the origin of their food. What works for the best restaurants should certainly work for McDonald’s.

A good fact checker is likely going to demonstrate that similar items at other fast food joints also come from relatively local sources. In the Pacific Northwest we grow a lot of potatoes and apples and produce a lot of milk. Most of that probably ends up consumed within a reasonable radius.

But, facts are beside the point here. The ability to take a concept like Locavore that exists at the fringes of mass market consciousness and turn it into a strong and interesting campaign is just brilliant marketing. Like it or not, but somehow a lot of people are now going to “feel better” about eating at McDonald’s.

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One comment

  1. Not sure that McDonald’s local campaign is as much about appealing to locavores as about letting consumers know that it’s spending money locally. I’m sure I’m stereotyping their regular patrons, but I suspect it’s more about economic xenophobia than a deep concern for local quality. By the time it’s been prepped and served, it’s all the same stuff, from Maine to Washington…



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