Today, I stopped in McDonald’s at 11 a.m. for a Sausage, Egg and Cheese McMuffin. I’m a fan of the new All Day Breakfast, which began on Tuesday, October 6 across the country. Social media rejoiced, McDonald’s proclaims a great move by listening and responding to its customers and franchisees are calling it a logistics nightmare.
But hold on! Is this switch bad business for the beef industry?
McDonald’s launched the menu change last week with a new campaign that has already improved the Golden Arches’ brand perception to a two-year high. The stock markets seem to approve of the chain which has improved in value, despite declining profit margins over the past several quarters. It’s unique to see a brand making such a large permanent menu change and connecting it so closely with measurable customer demand.
McDonald’s has undergone its fair share of skepticism in the past. I’ve written about their advertisements connecting with farmers, and that was met with much criticism about production methods, safety of food and presence of antibiotics in beef. In the past few years, McD’s has made a large effort at branding and reconnecting, which has included extensive Q&A sections on their website. This new breakfast offering is definitely a part of that effort.
The limited All Day Breakfast will boost availability of biscuit and/or McMuffin sandwiches (depending on your location), which will likely improve sales of dairy, egg and pork sales for the chain. But I ask… Where’s The Beef?!?
I’m not a frequent customer of McDonald’s, but I do occasionally stop by for a convenient breakfast sandwich and coffee, largely in part because I know I will receive a consistent product no matter the location. When I lived in Tennessee, there was a limited steak biscuit offering, but that option didn’t stick around. The menu is dominated by other protein options. I opted for the (pork) sausage today. How many others will make the swap for breakfast in place of normal lunch menu items?
The restaurant chain is certainly making a bet by increasing the availability of their lower cost items with an All Day Breakfast menu selection during normal burger hours. As one of the largest customers for domestic ground beef sales (yes, the McDonald’s burger is 100% beef), serving nearly 1 billion pounds of beef annually, there’s not much fear of that market disappearing. However, it’s worth pondering if the competitive menu protein options later in the day will decrease beef sales for McDonald’s.
It’s certainly a great business opportunity for our other proteins – pork, dairy and egg.