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McDonald’s myth-buster video goes viral – rise of social engagement using supply chain transparency

The global fast food franchise has recently released a video showing how McNuggets are made to curb rumours about nasty ingredients. In the clip, supply chain manager Nicoletta Stefou from McDonald’s Canada headquarters walks the audience through the process, with particular emphasis on how “pink goop” is never part of the production line.

McDonald Social Engagement – Supply Chain Transparency As an attempt to debunk the long held myth of “McNuggetification”, the video was also aired during this week’s Super Bowl on Canadian TV. Since the mysterious pink substance namely “pink goop” appeared on the Internet around 4 years ago, McDonald’s has come under attack from sceptical consumers, health advocates and food bloggers. “We don’t know what it is or where it came from, but it has nothing to do with our chicken McNuggets”, Nicoletta Stefou said. Pink goop refers to “lean finely textured beef”, which contains inedible meat trimmings. According to McDonald’s official ingredient list for its McNuggets, the item is made from chicken breast, water, modified corn starch, salt, seasoning, and natural rosemary extract. Vivek Sood, CEO of Global Supply Chain Group, said: “This story stems from McDonald’s decision to reply to a customer’s question about the “pink goop” rumour, which can be seen as a triumph in terms of corporate social engagement. While we already saw a similar attempt in 2008, it is hard to ignore McDonald’s recent move with factors such as: the inclusion of the company’s supply chain executive, the Super Bowl timing, the reference to the ingredient list and so on.” In 2013, ABC News (US) was sued for defamation by Beef Products Inc, makers of “lean finely textured beef” in a lawsuit that ran up to US$1.2 billion. McDonald’s intended to use the transparency card to distance itself from all the noise. Chief Executive Officer Don Thompson said in October 2013: “Customers want to hear more about transparency. They want to hear about provenance and where the food is from.” With the “Your questions” section on the official website, McDonald’s is serious about improving consumer perception of its food. Earlier this year, the company also announced the plan to stay committed to “sustainable beef.” “Quite clearly, McDonald’s wants to build trust, engagement and credibility via transparent supply networks. Through the latest video, the company has set the scene for a new business model that thrives on social engagement. After all, customers are king. I think soon enough there will be a title for a Chief Engagement Officer, who is responsible for addressing supply chain transparency issues and spotting potential opportunities to add value to the brand.”, said Vivek Sood.

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