McDonald’s, the fast food giant, isn’t leaving its long-term media agency, OMD, but it is holding its first global media review in more than a decade in an effort to work with a roster of preferred agencies rather than a single partner.
It’s been an interesting few years for McDonald’s - for the past two, they’ve been in a slump. Earlier this year Reuters posited that the cause was increased competition from convenience stores, supermarkets, and even meal kit delivery services like Blue Apron.
“Supermarkets have been passing lower food costs on to shoppers, while restaurants are raising menu prices to offset the impact of minimum wage increases.”
It sent McDonald’s into a scramble of trying to make service even faster, offering limited time specials, remodeling restaurants and testing home delivery and automated ordering. But traffic in restaurants keeps falling. They’re still the leader in the fast food industry, but by an increasingly shrinking margin.
And it’s not like Americans aren’t eating fast food like they used to.
Fifty-million Americans eat at a fast food restaurant every single day.
McDonald’s has been working hard to ensure that those 50,000,000 Americans choose them by introducing healthier food options and investing in restaurant upgrades and remodels. But are salads and automated self-serve kiosks enough?
What Restaurant Patrons Want
There have been some very interesting consumer trends emerging in the restaurant market in recent years.
- 83% of consumers prefer patronizing restaurants that treat their employees well.
- 73% of consumers prefer restaurants that support their local communities or non-profits.
- Menu claims that have been shown to influence ordering include: Grass Fed/Pasture Raised, Hormone Free, Antibiotic Free, Non GMO, Sustainably Caught/Raised, and of course, Organic.
These trends are growing, but for fast food chains that prize profit margins above everything else, they’re expensive to actually produce.
McDonald’s may not be in a position to woo everyone, so we looked more closely at the segment of fast food consumers we think have the most potential to fall in love with McDonald’s again - just the way it is.
Meet the Post-Millennial Hispanics
A 2016 study titled “The Hispanic Millennial Study” found that Latinos living in the U.S. consider health to be a state of happiness, rather than the absence of illness, and they are more likely to shop independently and spend more money on groceries than other groups. Eighty-five percent of those surveyed said chicken was healthy and even considered sugar to be healthy, and don’t believe processed food poses risks. Are they in need of some health education? Probably. Are they ideal for McDonald’s - definitely.
We used Cubeyou’s clustering algorithm to identify 10 different niches among Fast Food consumers and found that Post-Millennial Hispanics represent 10.6 percent of the target.
How could McDonald’s reach them? A few celebrity endorsements should do the trick.
These young consumers are celebrity-obsessed and always on their phones, most likely surfing social media sites to find out more about what their favorite celebrities are doing, saying, Tweeting and snapchatting. They follow models, chefs, YouTube personalities - and, they take the term “influencer” to a whole new level - they’re easily influenced.
So maybe McDonald’s should chuck its Grandma’s crispy chicken tenders commercials and call in some abuelitas.
If you’d like to get a fast food industry analysis, to learn more about McDonald’s target audience, and the consumer insights we found, check out our latest pitch brief!