McDonald’s is a colossal corporation with an almost incomparable international reputation in the fast food industry. McDonald’s story begins in 1940 in the United States of America in a small town called Des Plaines where its founders Richard and Maurice McDonald begin a tale of epic proportion. Today the McDonald’s success currently operates in over 33,000 restaurants, employing more than 1.7 million people worldwide spanning 119 countries within six continents. (2) McDonald’s has made many transitions throughout its years and has successfully kept up with the times. With the ever-expanding nature of time comes success and competition for this industry leader. The challenges of bad media and an ever growing health savvy world knocking at McDonald’s front door, this corporation has a magicians bag of tricks up there sleeve in order to deal with all sorts of detrimental forecasts.
The major problem that McDonald’s has been facing as of recent is, some two-thirds of Americans are overweight, roughly 30 percent of American children are overweight or obese, and Big Macs and super-size French fries have drawn criticism and lawsuits for McDonald's promoting obesity. (1) Governments and influential health advocates blame McDonalds and various other fast food restaurants for the rise in obesity among the ever-growing youth population. Countries have even decided to ban fast food TV advertisings because of this epidemic. These trends have been supported by various media sources. A great example of a smear campaign against McDonalds is the accredited “Supersize Me” documentary which shows how unhealthy McDonalds can be for its consumer. Despite all of the bad media and social awareness McDonald’s has pulled off astonishing feats by rebranding its image as an “unhealthy” fast food restaurant. The change in image of McDonald’s from a junk food restaurant to a friendly and healthy food restaurant has been facilitated through various campaigns like the "Happy Exercise and Love Touch Health (HEALTH)" and the Healthy Meal Package as two great examples (1). The idea is to offer packages which have salad included with the cheaper price while promoting healthy living. The cheaper price for the salad packages has an objective to attract the existing consumers to switch their behavior to become healthier and the HEALTH program combines the aspect of exercise with healthy food choices. This objective has a purpose to attract those who are health-oriented and pay much attention on healthy foods and healthy lifestyle, enlarging the market and increasing the amount of products that McDonald’s merchandises. A great new product that could assist in the health trend that McDonalds has spun would be to incorporate hummus and baba ghanoush as healthy dip alternatives. The selection of dips that McDonalds carry are not limited but there does not seem to be any healthy alternatives at this point in time. Hummus and baba ghanoush allows frequent fast food users to change their lifestyle by buying a balanced meal with McDonald's traditional foods and new healthier foods together. McDonalds has gone so far as too rebrand its trademark golden arch with a question mark in order to show its rebranding strategies. Baba ghanoush and hummus wouldn’t be too extreme a change. The various strategies that McDonald’s has used to promote its newer healthier image are too vast to list in their entirety but there net-shares and global sales reflect the success of their health conscious campaigns and rebranding.
McDonalds has had many successes and failures when it comes to promoting new products into its marketing mix. McDonald’s over the last few years has registered a number of trademarks for products that have gone on to