The Great Global Burger-off | Testing McDonald's from Abroad in the UK

McDonald’s is a truly global company. You can get a Big Mac in Aberdeen, Buenos Aires, Chongqing and most points in between. But that doesn’t mean the experience is the same world-wide; in each country the food on offer is different, tailored to the local culture. In Sri Lanka you can chow down on a McRice meal (spiced rice, green vegetables and a spicy breaded chicken fillet) while in South Korea you can start your day with an Egg Bulgogi Burger (bulgogi is marinated beef or pork, barbecued).

When faced with the variety of options around the world the first question that pops into our heads (being product innovation nerds) is: would this work here in the UK? Luckily with Vypr we have the tools to find out. First, the rules of the game. We surveyed McDonald’s websites from dozens of countries and collected descriptions of all their burgers. To keep it relatively simple we excluded breakfast burgers (apologies to the Big Brekkie Burger from Down Under), and then ruled out any products already available in the UK. Lastly we did a sense check to exclude single products with different names in different countries, or very similar products.

The final list includes 67 burgers with a wide range of ingredients and culinary influences. Next up, we ran them through Vypr’s product innovation platform, for each burger asking a 500 consumers from our community whether they would buy it. After ranking the results we decided that some of the top ten were worth pursuing with further testing.

Picking out the winners

We compared some of the top-ranking global burgers to those already on sale in the UK with preference steers, limited to McDonald’s shoppers. Some products that looked good from the initial tests did less well when compared with the current McDonald’s UK range. For example the Grilled Chicken (available in the United Arab Emirates) finished high on our initial list, but doesn’t stand out from the UK pack.

However, one product in particular stood out as performing much better than the existing burgers: the impressively-named Grand McExtreme Intense Cheddar burger (currently on sale in Spain). This combines melted cheddar with a rich, cheddar-based sauce.

The indications are that this product might work in the UK market. Now, what about pricing? Using a starting price of £4.99 and allowing a variance of up to £2 each way, we can get an indicative idea of profit-maximising pricing depending on product unit cost.

In a traditional innovation process to get this level of detail and real-world data would take months. With the Vypr platform this took a few hours, from conceiving the idea to finding the burger descriptions, running the steers, collecting the results, and writing up this article. Powerful, deep analysis with a strong pointer for further action, for a fraction of the time and money you would expect.

To find out how Vypr could help supercharge your product innovation, contact us today for a demo.


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