In this file:


·         McDonald’s eyes lab-grown meat as food, agricultural companies aim to cut environmental impact

·         McDonald's offers its first-ever vegetarian Happy Meal

·         Report: McDonald’s operators feel ‘cash-strapped’



McDonald’s eyes lab-grown meat as food, agricultural companies aim to cut environmental impact


Financial Times

via Genetic Literacy Project - January 8, 2019


The world’s biggest purchaser of beef is watching the plant-based meat market.


“Plant-based protein is something we’re keeping an eye on as we start to think about the opportunities there and growth in that space,” Lucy Brady, McDonald’s senior vice-president of corporate strategy, told a women’s conference in California hosted by Fortune magazine in December.



An increasing number of large food and agricultural companies have been investing in alternative protein groups — US meat group Tyson Foods has taken a stake in plant based meat company Beyond Meat, leading agricultural trader Cargill has invested in cellular meat start-up Memphis Meats and Unilever bought a Dutch plant-based food company, Vegetarian Butcher.


The consumer trend described by food and marketing executives as a “paradigm shift” seems to be driven largely by concerns about health and weight loss, but …. Over the past four to five years, the spotlight on agriculture and food industries’ impact on the environment has intensified amid fears over the prospect of population growth and food demand driving crop and livestock cultivation.



Microbes are among the cutting-edge technologies in agriculture, where companies hope to cut the use of synthetic chemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers …. According to scientists...


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McDonald's offers its first-ever vegetarian Happy Meal

New wrap debuted last week in UK


By Michelle Ganley, Graham Media Group

via (FL) - January 07, 2019


The people have spoken: As it turns out, McDonald’s was hearing quite a bit of feedback regarding its vegetarian options, or lack therefore of, so the chain restaurant got serious about making a change.


For the first time in the company’s storied history, McDonald’s now has a main dish that’s vegetarian. Right now, it’s only offered in the U.K., but that could change.


Now, of course, people have been finding ways to make the existing menu items vegetarian in nature, probably as long as the burger giant has been in business. Who hasn’t heard of the “burger-less burger” hack -- meaning, essentially a grilled cheese?


But this isn’t that.


This new option, which is offered in a Happy Meal and as an adult sandwich, features a breaded red pesto goujon wrap.


If you're scratching your head thinking, "What's that?", you're probably not alone. The goujon is made from yellow split peas, tomato, Arborio rice, sun-dried tomato pesto, tomato paste, red pepper, olive oil, herbs and some sugar, and is served with ketchup and shredded lettuce.


A similar sandwich is called the Spicy Veggie Wrap...





Report: McDonald’s operators feel ‘cash-strapped’

Franchisees say the chain’s complex menu is hurting speed of service


Nancy Luna, Nation's Restaurant News

Jan 07, 2019


McDonald’s operators feel “cash-strapped” and hampered by the growing complexity of the restaurant’s menu, which is hurting speed of service and creating labor challenges, according to a recent survey of franchisees.


The poll, obtained and published this week by restaurant analyst Mark Kalinowski, was commissioned by franchisee advocacy group National Leadership Council. The group is not affiliated with the National Owners Association, an independent franchisee group that formed late last year.


The report, which polled 1,154 McDonald’s operators, described two primary categories of concern for operators: economics and operating platform.


Specifically, operators in the survey said McDonald’s is launching “too many expensive initiatives” that don’t necessarily pay off. The report did not provide specifics about which initiatives were dragging down sales but did mention hardships from the company’s remodeling program.


McDonald’s said the company would not “comment on internal discussions.” However, the chain said it is “committed to continuing to work closely with our franchisees so they have the support they need to run great restaurants and provide great quality experiences and convenience for our guests.”


The Chicago-based chain has made the modernization of its stores a priority.


By the end of 2018, McDonald’s was expected to have about 7,000 restaurants, or half of its U.S. system, sporting the new Experience of the Future look. The overhauled stores feature modern furniture, kiosks, curbside pick-up, upgraded drive-thrus, power outlets for charging devices and pick-up counters for Uber Eats.


Some remodels of aging buildings are so extensive...


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