James Dennin, Kapitall: To reach millennials, that trendy group roughly aged 18-28, McDonald's is pulling out all the stops.
McDonald's (MCD) is revamping its menu in an attempt to appeal to millennials, so p retty soon you'll be able to get your Big Mac with a nice side salad.
Acknowledging a nationwide trend toward healthier food, McDonald's is targeting this younger demographic, who are already less devoted to one of America's most recognizable brands than their predecessors. While McDonald's is still the most valuable restaurant chain in the world, a survey published this spring in AdAge showed the company ranks 17th among millennials, behind, well, most of the other chains you can think of.
[Read more from Kapitall: What Investors Should Know as Football Season Approaches]And it's not even that twenty-somethings don't like their burgers – franchises like Burger King (WEN) and In-N-Out are still popular. Part of the problem, according to McDonald's insiders and marketing specialists, is that young people are far more concerned with choice than brand loyalty. That's the line of thinking encouraging major beer companies to purchase microbrews by the bushel and re-fashion their brands with swanky labels and new product line extensions. It's also that line of thinking which is prompting young people to flock to brands like Chipotle (CMG), Panera Bread (PNRA), Subway, and other restaurants where the items are made to order. It's not as if a steak burrito is much healthier than a Southern Style Chicken – but millennials are increasingly insistent that their food be catered exactly to their taste. To be more accommodating, McDonald's has refashioned their wraps to come in a variety of flavors, and lets customers specify whether they prefer their chicken grilled or fried.