Macca's

McDonald’s goes full-Aussie as Australia gets fatter…fast

January 21, 2013
January 21, 2013

Fast food juggernaut McDonald’s spotlighted Australia as particularly fertile sales terrain in its most recent quarterly earnings report, noting that solid results in Australia helped offset weakness in markets like Japan. And in honor of Australia day, McDonald’s will be re-kitting its signage at some stores with the preferred nickname Australians use for the fast-food chain: Macca’s. Above is an ad highlighting the decision (with a hat tip to the Financial Times).

And, of course, McDonald’s has also made some interesting tweaks lately to cater to Australian tastes, including the national penchant for lamb. Here’s an ad spotlighting that decision, featuring former Aussie-rules football player, media personality, and national spokesman of the benefits of lamb consumption, Sam Kekovich

We’ll find out if Australia continues to contribute in a meaningful way to McDonald’s bottom line when the company reports fourth-quarter results on Wednesday. But it’s worth noting that Australian waistlines have been booming lately, too. Some 63% of Aussies are now overweight or obese, up from 61% in 2008 and 56% in 1995, according the Australian Bureau of Statistics. And other reports have emerged recently spotlighting a rise in risky pregnancies among rural women due to obesity.

Such health issues are sparking something of nascent pushback against contributors to obesity such as soda. It doesn’t look like any action is imminent. After all, Australia shares many affinities with the United States, including an appreciation of free enterprise. On the other hand, when the overwhelming weight of evidence suggests that something—like, say, assault rifles—is a serious public health risk, Australians are willing to do something about it.

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