McDonald's: A lot of sustainability initiatives in the restaurants

Raahil Chopra of Campaign India caught up with Arvind RP, chief marketing officer, McDonald’s India (W&S), to understand about the impact of the brand, and how it aims to break the clutter during the festive season, and how it moved to paper straws from plastic straws ...

19 Oct 2023 | By Raahil Chopra

Edited excerpts:

What are the plans for the festive season this year? How will you be looking to break the clutter?
Apart from the festive season, it’s also World Cup time. With this around, delivery is a big component as people sit together to watch games. We have a whole playbook on delivery to tackle this as we want to make match-time meals relevant whether it’s on our platform (McDelivery) or the likes of Swiggy and Zomato.

Any initiative around the festivals?
We have a campaign for Dussehra and Diwali. These occasions have always been periods where our sales grew. We took it up as an agenda last year to make the brand more relevant. What you see here is an insight-based campaign of how McDonald’s is relevant during Diwali.

Last year, when we released the Diwali film, many people reached out to me asking for the connection between the festival and the brand. I explained to them that at the end of the day, we sell a lot during the festivals. There are various occasions during these festivals where brands like McDonald’s become important. This campaign brings to life that insight. While there’s the core traditional Diwali with your immediate family, where Indian sweets and homemade food take over, but there are other occasions with your colleagues, and friends where McDonald’s takes over.

What’s your take on sustainability? What is McDonald’s doing in this space?
Many years ago, we moved to paper straws from plastic straws. A lot of the initiatives on sustainability are in our restaurants. We have a model restaurant in Kolhapur which is completely net zero. It’s completely solar-powered. The other initiative we are working on is re-using our used oil to generate energy and so on.

The McDonald's brand in India 
We are big believers of DE&I (diversity, equity and inclusiveness), and this pushes hard on the agenda of inclusivity. That brings its benefits over time. My chairperson keeps reminding us that we are in the long game of building a franchise whose foundation is an aspirational brand for consumers. This platform is nothing but a key initiative in the long game.

The innovation on the menu continues with the recently announced Italian range. When you come up with products like these, how does it impact original menu items like the McVeggie and McChicken?
The audience for these products would be completely new visiting us for completely new occasions. McVeggie, McChicken and Aloo Tikki are what we call the classics. They are the foundation of McDonald’s.

One more perception is that the youth is focussing more towards healthy food. While there’s a new range in place to tackle this, McDonald’s is linked to still being a ‘fast food and unhealthy’ brand…
Consumers are looking for mindful indulgence now. They want to know about what’s in their food and how nutritious it is or the amount of protein in it. They also are looking into whether the product is made right. They are asking plenty of questions now.

How has McCafe done for the brand? 
McCafe also allows us to collaborate. We are working with the likes of KitKat, and Oreo and launching collaborations for shakes.  Today, we have more than 300 of our 360 stores with a McCafe in them. The numbers will only catch up over some time. Be it in a tier one or three city, its relevance is very strong.

Latest Poll

The packaging industry is confused by recycling and sustainability rules in India. What is the biggest challenge?

Results

The packaging industry is confused by recycling and sustainability rules in India. What is the biggest challenge?

Shortcomings in EPR policy

 

22.22%

Inadequate infrastructure

 

11.11%

Shortage of recycling firms

 

16.67%

Lack of consumer awareness

 

50.0%

Total Votes : 18

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