McDonalds reaches out to Millennials: Unveils McWrap

Posted by: Jeff Fromm

McDonalds’ yellow golden arches, which once stood for inexpensive, quality food, is now lacking the same symbolic meaning with Millennials.  Adage reported that among Millennials, McDonalds does not even rank in the demographic’s top 10 fast food restaurants.  The question that McDonalds strategies must be asking now is, “why?”

The answer is simple – Millennials are becoming more concerned with the food they are eating and are opting out of many unhealthy fast food options.

The 2006 documentary Fast Food Nation hit a very strong chord with Millennials.  Since then, recent trends have shown Millennials are purchasing food products with fresher ingredients, fewer calories and more unique flavor profiles.   In response, McDonalds recently released the McWrap.  Nicknamed the “Subway crusher” in an internal memo obtained by Adage, McDonalds hopes the McWrap will draw in more former loyal customers.

How the McWrap will boast the McDonalds reputation with Millennials

1.     The McWrap is less than 550 calories Screen Shot 2013-08-23 at 5.43.15 PM

Health conscious Millennials will not feel as guilty about eating a McWrap as they would if they ordered another higher calorie option.  On average, based on a 2,000 daily calorie intake, a person should eat meals with roughly 530 – six hundred calories.  The three Premium McWrap options fit perfectly into this recommended amount.

2.     McDonalds provides a breakdown of the nutritional information for the McWrap

Research shows that Millennials are more likely to purchase food products if they know where the ingredients come from.  Organic ingredients and fresh produce is also on the top of the list for Millennials.  They enjoy a broad flavor profile with a variety of different textures.  Additionally, integrity is a highly valued trait with Millennials so McDonalds is aiming to becoming more transparent about its nutritional information and ingredients.

3.     The McWrap is easy to eat on the go

On-the-go Millennials are more likely to eat four or more smaller meals a day rather than three traditional meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner.  When ordering fast food, Millennials want something that is easy, portable and clean.  Wraps are becoming more popular with Millennials because they are more portable than the traditional fast food hamburger.

McDonalds is one of the most popular and well-loved fast food chains in the United States.  Unfortunately, what made it successful in the past is no longer the winning recipe for Millennials.  The release of the McWrap will likely boast Millennial interest in McDonalds.  However, the question remains as to whether McDonalds can leverage that into a more authentic brand story that will enable it to compete with other Millennial favorites like Firehouse Subs and Chipotle.

Leah Swartz contributed to writing this post.


Photo credit: YVRBCbro via Flickr

About Jeff Fromm

Although not a Millennial as defined by his age, Jeff Fromm is the Millennial Marketing Guy. Jeff is President of FutureCast, a marketing consultancy that specializes in Millennial trends, and is a contributing writer at...See Jeff's full bio.