McDonald’s Canada wants Canadian farmers to know it couldn’t do it without them.
The company has rolled out a new advertising campaign with commercials featuring empty containers for its most popular menu items with the slogan “not without Canadian farmers.”
The TV and online campaign emphasizes the whopping big quantities of its farm purchases.
“We spend almost a billion dollars on food ingredients every year in Canada alone,” said Sherry MacLauchlan, the company’s director of government relations. “Over 85 per cent of those purchases come from Canadian suppliers… so a large majority of our expense for food is domestic.”
Every year, McDonald’s Canada buys 143 million pounds of potatoes, 52 million pounds of chicken, and 24 million litres of real milk and cream — not to mention 67 million pounds of ground beef.
“We are the largest purchaser of ground beef in the Canadian restaurant industry,” said MacLauchlan.
As for eggs, it buys 120 million fresh eggs, 76 million of which go into its Egg McMuffins.
Pork is notably absent from the list. MacLauchlan said for some ingredients, purchases are made on a North American scale to take advantage of economies. For other food ingredients, such as lettuce and tomatoes, the company sources outside of Canada to maintain a consistent year-round supply and to meet certain specifications, she said.
It was time to let customers know most of what they are eating when they go to McDonald’s comes from Canadian farms.
“It is something we feel very strongly about as a Canadian company, but we realized we haven’t been telling the story,” she said.
But the company also wants farmers to know it listens to its customers.
“We have the benefit of having a direct relationship with Canadian consumers — three million a day visit our restaurants,” she said. “And we can bring that back to the food value chain and all of the players in the chain and tell them what customers think.”
That feedback led to the decision to source all of its eggs from cage-free operations over the next 10 years.
“The eggs are a very good example — the public generally is very supportive of those kinds of measures,” she said.