McDonald’s to lure French with ‘McBaguette’

The French branch of US fast food giant McDonald’s said it will introduce a “McBaguette” sandwich in a bid to cater to local tastes.

Often derided in food-crazy France for its mass-production approach, the chain has worked to adapt, with sandwiches featuring local ingredients such as goat’s cheese and pepper sauce alongside its traditional burgers and fries.

The McBaguette will be launched as a test product April 18 for six weeks in the chain’s 1230 French restaurants, according to Nawfal Trabelsi, McDonald’s France’s vice president for marketing.

“It’s a crispy baguette, served hot, with beef, a slightly strong whole grain mustard sauce and ripe Emmental cheese,” Trabelsi said, adding that the product was of “symbolic importance” and part of the company’s efforts at local “integration.”

 After long resisting the lure of fast food, French consumers increasingly turned to chain restaurants in recent years, with the fast food market growing from about $26 billion in 2004 to nearly $43 billion last year.

McDonald’s has done particularly well, growing to 63,000 employees since opening its first French branch in 1979 and with pretax turnover last year of $5.5 billion

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