In our last blog, we looked at attitudes toward food traceability among Americans and Europeans. We concluded that all consumers want reassurances their food is produced in a safe and humane manner. This week, McDonald’s addresses these concerns with a new advertising campaign focusing on beef and produce suppliers.
One supplier is Steve Foglesong, owner of Black Gold Ranch, a cow-calf, stocker and feedlot operation in central Illinois, who talks about his ranch’s commitment to quality and sustainability. The McDonald's campaign also features potato and lettuce growers. You can see all the suppliers at www.mcdonalds.com/suppliers.
This emphasis on suppliers represents a shift for the world’s largest restaurant chain, which previously focused on the quality of food rather than its source. According to U.S. Chief Marketing Officer Neil Gordon, the campaign is part of a larger initiative to improve transparency and communication with consumers. In an interview with Advertising Age, Golden said, “We acknowledge that there are questions about where our food comes from. I believe we’ve got an opportunity to accentuate that part of our story.”
Providers like Black Gold Ranch are secondary sources for McDonald’s. According to Advertising Age, the company works directly with 250 suppliers, including Cargill, Lopez Foods and Golden State Foods. In November, McDonald’s dropped a Cargill egg supplier, Sparboe Farms, following a Mercy For Animals undercover video depicting animal mistreatment. Sparboe has since conducted its own investigation, fired the employees involved and retrained workers in animal handling techniques.
What do you think of the new McDonald’s campaign?