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Food Production Systems, Trade, and Transnational Corporations: - page 20 / 29

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Figure 3: McDonald’s Global Restaurants, 1994-2007

McDonald's System Unit Restaurants by Region Since 1994

35,000

30,000

Number of Restaurants

25,000

20,000

15,000

10,000

5,000

0

1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 Ye a r

U.S. Other Regions

Europe Total - Outside U.S.

Asia/Pacific Total - Worldwide

Latin America

Source: McDonald’s Annual Reports

China is a key emerging market for McDonald’s and its performance to date is positive, with strong new unit growth, including drive-thrus, as it looks to tap into rising levels of car ownership. Currently McDonald’s has more than 800 restaurants on the mainland, and in 2008, they plan to open 125 more restaurants in China. McDonald’s main competitor in China is KFC (a subsidiary of Yum! Brands), which benefited from first-mover status and the fact that chicken is more widely consumed by Chinese than beef. McDonald’s is trying to cater toward a more chicken and fish friendly menu in order to tap into local consumer preferences.

McDonald’s also promotes local sourcing. DaChan Food, the Dalian-based integrated chicken meat and feed producer in China, is the largest broiler supplier of KFC and the major supplier of McDonald’s, Dicos and other local outlets in China. The standards the chicken must meet based on demands by Western firms like McDonald’s is being transmitted into the type of chicken provided by non-Western outlets too, as the example of Dicos, a Taiwan-based company, shows.

McDonald’s has been a front runner in providing more extensive nutritional information on their menu items and promulgating health-friendly, balanced-lifestyle campaigns. Starting in

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