[8/18 update: See the commercial for the lamb burger McDonald's is airing in Australia here.]
In line with its continuing marketing strategy that promotes local products and spotlights some of the farmers and ranchers it works with around the world, McDonald’s once again is working with the Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) organization. The result this time is the Serious Lamb Burger that the chain introduces next week across Australia (Aug. 14 in Queensland; the following day elsewhere).
Training materials for McDonald’s crew feature Sam Kekovich, a popular former Aussie-rules footballer who serves as MLA spokesman. “Mary had a little one; we’ve got a big one!” he exclaims before explaining how to properly build the new burger. Beginning with the bottom of a 5-in. wheatgerm bun, the build calls for one tomato slice, 3 red onion rings, the lamb patty, an oval cooked egg, 15 ml of ketchup, 14 grams of missed greens, 20 grams of aïoli, a slice of beetroot and bun crown. In the training film, Kekovich calls it “one of the best creations of this mighty meat that I have ever had the chance to savor!”
Sliced beet (beetroot) is so popular as a burger topping that rival Hungry Jack’s (Burger King in Australia) was the target of much complaining when it pulled the beet-topped Aussie Whopper as part of its recent menu makeover. The chain recently relented and introduced a new burger, the Aussie XT, with beloved beetroot.
For Mary and others who do just want a little lamb, McDonald’s will offer the Serious Lamb Taster, a small wrap with a half lamb patty, similar to the Angus Snack Wraps menued here.
McDonald’s has worked with Australian ranchers before. In 2009 it launched its Grand Angus and Mighty Angus burgers with the imprimatur of Certified Australian Beef Pty Ltd. Marketing support for the burgers included a 45-second TV commercial (from DDB Sydney) in which ranchers talk of their long working relationship with McDonald’s. Cognizant of local pride, the Angus burgers offered in neighboring New Zealand are made with Angus beef raised there.