Big+Macs+local+flavor - Big Mac's local flavor - May. 2,...

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Big Mac's local flavor - May. 2, 2008 .. 1 of 5 7/4/2008 9:23 PM May 2, 2008: 8:48 AM EDT Powered by SAVE THIS | EMAIL THIS | Close Big Mac's local flavor Once vilified for pushing America on the world, McDonald's lets countries invent their own buns, bags, and business practices. Now some ideas are making their way back home. By Peter Gumbel, Europe Editor (Fortune Magazine) -- The next time you're in Brazil, say, or Italy or Portugal, and feeling like a taste of Americana, stop off at a local McDonald's restaurant and order a Big Tasty burger. As the name suggests, it's a giant sandwich consisting of a 5.5-ounce beef patty slathered in smoky barbecue sauce. Once you include the square-chopped lettuce, tomatoes, and three slices of cheese, it all adds up to a whopping 840 calories. Just don't try looking for the Big Tasty in the United States, McDonald's home territory. It's not on sale there. In fact, there's precious little about the burger that's American at all, other than the fact that it's sold by McDonald's. It was dreamed up in a test kitchen in Germany and then tweaked, trialed, and launched in Sweden in August 2003. It proved so successful there - "It's one of our biggest sellers ever," says Susanne Rydjer, a Swedish McDonald's marketing executive - that restaurants in other parts of Europe quickly picked it up. Latin America and Australia followed suit. (It is no relation to the American Big N' Tasty, which is smaller and less successful.) On its path to becoming a hit, the Big Tasty has become something much larger than a giant burger: It is a prime example of how, in this era of global business, the tail can end up wagging the dog. McDonald's worldwide operations are now far bigger than its U.S. domestic business, and they are growing substantially faster. And as the world has become the principal revenue engine for the company, it has turned this iconic American brand upside down, transforming the way it does business. These days new ideas can - and frequently do- come from anywhere. The Big Tasty didn't make it to the United States (more about that later), but plenty of other things that originated thousands of miles away from Oak Brook, Ill., where the company is based, have either already done so or are about to. Fortune has learned that later this year McDonald's ( MCD , Fortune 500 ) will roll out new wrappers, boxes, and bags in its U.S. restaurants that will tout the quality of its products. The company's head of European operations
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Big Mac's local flavor - May. 2, 2008 .. 2 of 5 7/4/2008 9:23 PM had the idea and pushed hard to implement it, and his designers had a big hand in the final outcome. Also on their way across the Atlantic are "artisan breads" - baguette-style sandwich rolls long used by McDonald's in France and Italy that the company will promote in the United States as a premium product. Then there's coffee. While
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This note was uploaded on 12/31/2009 for the course BIZ 178 taught by Professor Meford during the Fall '09 term at University of California, Berkeley.

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Big+Macs+local+flavor - Big Mac's local flavor - May. 2,...

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