01 September 2006


What's more important? Consumers' health and well being? Or revenue and profitability?

McDonald's definitely picks the later.

If one eats at McDonald's, the food is delivered on tray with brightly colored tray liner promoting McDonald's products. Although McDonald's changes tray liner regularly, it basically delivers the same kind of message: that Mcdonald's wants more business from the soon-to-be "Super Size Me".

Since the message is mostly irrelevant, people seldom pay attention to the liner.

Below promotional message was printed on the tray liner on 18 August 2006.

"Want to know more about nutritional values? Please turn overleaf!

Bacon and Egg Twisty Pasta Breakfast Meal $19.50

Kick start your day with the new pasta breakfast. With twisty pasta, fresh grade A eggs from the USA and tasty Canadian bacon, you'll feel so good and energied that moreover will never be ordinary again. Together with hot chicken broth, diced tomatoes, shredded cabbage, carrots, corns and other greens, this breakfast is the perfect start to a perfect day!"

Who really cares about the marketing message of another junk? Consumers are definitely more concerned about the nutritional values than products which may produce another "Super Size Me".

However, if consumers want to learn more about the nutrition information, the process for obtaining such information is not user friendly. The most relevant information is usually printed on the back of the tray liner. Food has to be either put away or thrown away from the tray in order to flip the sheet and read the message. The whole exercise is simply inconvenient. It is also not environmental friendly to print countless sheets which have no value to consumers. Instead of removing another tree and generate more rubbish, McDonald's should supply either dispensible tray or tray without sheet.

Tray liner is not an effective medium to promote anything. It won't encourage cross selling, up selling, and repeat purchase. It doesn't have any value at all. If it is supposed to have value, its value will never be realized.

Tray liner is just one of the many touchpoints McDonald's should have optimized in order to produce positive experience, but not junk.

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