Wednesday, October 29, 2008

McDonald's International Media Days 2008 (Day 2, Part 3)

Day 2 of McDonald's International Media Days was FULL of interesting information and insights. In the afternoon The McChronicles was able to meet with Chef Dan Coudreaut, Corporate Chef, USA, in his test kitchen.

Dan was accompanied by several vendor partners who (along with several other vendors) share in the development, testing, and inventiveness. Chef Dan stressed that creating new McDonald's menu items is a team effort. Some of the vendors were from Cargill (oils) and Sargento (cheeses). Chef Dan also made it clear that he enjoys "the discovery process" and that he is comfortable when he, occasionally, "doesn't know what he doesn't know".
Chef Dan says he often begins with input or direction from his teammates in Marketing. After all, it is they who usually know what customers want, or which ingredients and product families contribute to profitability, sales, or optimal inventory utilization.
Chef Dan took the opportunity to demonstrate a product development process, based on the Snack Wrap platform (check out the brief video clips of Chef Dan in action). He shared a basic design system, then introduced a huge table of potential ingredients. Wow! What choices.

The McChronicles asked Chef Dan if he had any "failures" that surprised him. He said he really thought the taco + quesadilla (tacodilla) concept would resonate with people in the USA. According to Chef Dan, "I loved it, but it tanked."

That's OK, Chef Dan. You've created plenty of winners.

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The McChronicles: a blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.
Images & Videos: The McChronicles.