brand challenges

McDonald's Finally Throws Open Doors in US Food Transparency Campaign

Posted by Dale Buss on October 14, 2014 03:03 PM

As part of its new US marketing campaign to make its food production more transparent and address critics, McDonald's is inviting people to submit questions via Twitter and Facebook and will answer the most common ones. Maybe the first question it answers should be: What took so long?

Years after it launched smaller but similar transparency initiatives in Canada and Australia, McDonald's finally is throwing open its food production system in the US via a multi-pronged campaign, called "Our food. Your questions."

The platform includes a major PR effort as well as a digital and social media campaign, and will culminate in a new national TV advertising campaign that launches Monday.

The company this week invited Good Morning America into one of its beef-supplier plants and has turned to former MythBusters co-host Grant Imahara to walk consumers through some of the biggest fallacies about McDonald's food, answering questions such as whether McDonald's still uses "pink slime" in its McNuggets (short answer: no) and whether its burgers are 100-percent pure beef (in a word, yes).Continue reading...

chew on this

You Might Just Visit the Golden Arches After Seeing Making-of McNuggets Video

Posted by Dale Buss on February 5, 2014 05:44 PM

Afraid to see how McDonald's Chicken McNuggets really are made? You won't be after you see a new video about the process made and proudly displayed by McDonald's of Canada.

At a time of broad concern about "pink slime" in beef and general questioning of how fast food is put together—stoked in part, of course, by the all-natural marketing efforts by Chipotle and others—McDonald's has taken a bold new step toward greater transparency that provides a look inside supplier Cargill's facility in London, Ontario.

"Customers want to hear more about transparency," McDonald's embattled CEO, Don Thompson, told investors on an earnings call in October. "They want to hear about provenance and where the food is from." Among other such steps, McDonald's plans to hunt down more "sustainable" beef for its supplies.Continue reading...

chew on this

Cargill Heeds Consumers, Labels 'Finely Textured Beef' Following 'Pink Slime' Scandal

Posted by Dale Buss on November 6, 2013 02:49 PM

Cargill is succumbing to pressures for transparency in its beef-processing operations by deciding to label when its "finely textured beef"—ripped by critics as bottom-of-the-processing-barrel "pink slime"—is included in ground beef in new packaging due out early next year.

The agribusiness giant saw how last year's pink-slime controversy ravaged rival beef processor BPI, which had to shutter plants and lay off hundreds of employees. And Cargill said its move was a specific response to its own survey of more than 3,000 consumers over the last 18 months about ground beef and how it's made.

"We've listened to the public, as well as our [retailer] customers, and that is why today we are declaring our commitment to labeling Finely Textured Beef," John Keating, president of Cargill Beef, said in a statement.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Amazon, Google, Virgin and more

Posted by Dale Buss on April 16, 2012 09:01 AM

Amazon looms as nemesis of book publishers, as children's book publisher pulls its titles.

Apple denies designer Philippe Starck's claim of 'revolutionary' device.

Arby's makes social media blunder over Rush Limbaugh advertising.

Archie comics legal battle heats up.

Audi may select its North American plant site this week, with Mexico the favoriteAutomotive News says.

CBS emphasizes hard news to regain an edge.

Citigroup reports better-than-expected revenue growth.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Budweiser, Beef Products, Spotify & more

Posted by Dale Buss on April 13, 2012 09:01 AM

AB InBev trying to make Budweiser the "Coke of beers."

Apple plays offense and defense in patent fights as it rejects e-book collusion charge.

Beef Products struggles to survive "pink slime" furor.

Best Buy probes ex-CEO relationship with female subordinate.

BrightSource Energy action highlights difficulties of solar market.

Carrefour lowers prices to aid sales.

Google preserves cash and control with two-for-one stock spit. Continue reading...

mom's the word

Following the Pink Slime Trail on Social Media

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 29, 2012 02:12 PM

The general public got its first glimpse of "finely textured meat" (aka pink slime) almost a year ago, when Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution on ABC raised the issue with moms in a Los Angeles school district, but since then the hue and cry against the ammonia-treated filler has beent aken over by parents and nutritional advocates using, deftly, the free social media tools at their disposal.

The issue certainly caught the eye of Houston resident Bettina Siegel, who writes about kids and food on her blog, The Lunch Tray. Siegel posted a petition on Change.org on March 6th, rallying support to lobby Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to “put an immediate end to the use of ‘pink slime’ in our children’s school food.”

By the next day, more than 220,000 names had been added, rare for the site which launches 10,000 petitions on average each month. "It was incredible," said Brianna Cayo Cotter, communications director of Change.org, regarding Siegel’s petition. "In 10 days she made the USDA, the meat industry and major retailers all back away from it. Now the demand for pink slime has dropped so dramatically that some of the factories are starting to shut down."Continue reading...

health matters

Pink Slime Boycott Heats Up Everywhere But Frying Pan

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 26, 2012 05:12 PM

Frank Zappa once told his fans not to eat the yellow snow. Now a whole lot of folks are deciding not to eat another colorful item: pink slime.

It's a substance that many Americans (well, the few who watched) Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution last April would have seen in the series' premiere episode on ABC. That's when the British chef, accompanied by a bovine companion, demonstrated what goes into the 70% of America's ground beef that contains leftover cow parts (a.k.a. "pink slime"), meaning meat that has been treated with ammonia to banish bacteria such as e.coli and salmonella. It's also used to convert the fatty beef offcuts into a beef filler for burgers.

Ammonia-treated meat can be found in virtually all U.S. grocery stores, fast food restaurants, many national restaurant chains, and school cafeterias, but a backlash has been forming over fears that it is unsafe — and now the company that produces 'pink slime beef' has suspended operations at three of its four plants.Continue reading...

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