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McDonald’s Readies France’s Answer to Angus

A remodeled McDonald's in Paris

Continuing its global push to localize not just menus but also ingredient sourcing, McDonald’s next month will introduce a new mini burger in France made for the first time with French Charolais beef.

Priced at €2 (about US$2.59), the mini burger LTO will be added to the “P’tits Plaisirs” (Little Pleasures) snack line on Feb. 23. That line currently includes Le P’tit Wrap Ranch chicken/tortilla wrap and Le P’tit Oriental mini burger on pita bread.

Charolais is a beef breed that originated near Charolles, France, and is often crossbred with Angus or Hereford. Adding a Charolaise burger does more than simply provide a marketing point of difference for McDonald’s. It gives France, where the chain has nearly 1,200 restaurants, the agricultural nationalism of home-grown beef that many other markets already boast. McDonald’s websites for the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and Italy proclaim that the beef served is 100% locally raised. McDonald’s French website is limited to announcing that 100% French wheat goes into its buns. Burgers, the site says, are “100% pure beef.”

Charolais beef: Lovin' it?

The Charolais burger shows that local ingredient sourcing is as important for the world’s largest restaurant brand as it is for a fine-dining restaurant.

In announcing the Charolaise burger plan, Joao Lopes, senior VP-supply chain for McDonald’s in France and Southern Europe, said that “the launch of this burger with Charolaise beef is a result of the long-term relationship between the French agricultural community and McDonald’s. We are able to offer our consumers quality products and have the ambition to keep on developing new products that emphasize the variety and the richness of quality French agriculture.”

Last year, McDonald’s in Italy partnered with the Italian government to create and market a McItaly burger that featured Italian-sourced beef, Asiago cheese, artichoke spread and bread. That followed McDonald’s introduction of Grand Angus and Mighty Angus burgers in Australia, using a commercial that emphasized the chain’s long and close relationship with Australia’s beef ranchers. Last year, the chain mounted a campaign in England that spotlighted its local supply chain.

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