The Launch of McDonald’s Next – Is the Next Health Trend to be Found beyond the Golden Arches?
April 5th, 2016, YouGov

The Launch of McDonald’s Next – Is the Next Health Trend to be Found beyond the Golden Arches?

Many people are more conscious about health issues nowadays. Organic food, food supplements, regular exercises are increasingly popular. These trends are even making their way into fast food restaurants. McDonald’s is one brand seeking to entice more health-conscious customers. In addition to launching more healthy menus in recent years, the fast food giant has also recently opened the world’s first McDonald’s Next in Hong Kong. This concept restaurant allows customers to choose healthier options of ingredients and to enjoy more dedicated customer service. Is it just another short term gimmick, or will McDonald’s Next usher in a healthy-dining trend within the fast food sector?

9 out of 10 Hong Kong consumers are willing to pay more for healthier food

Are Hong Kong people in favour of healthy dining? YouGov, the leading global market research firm, conducted an online poll among 995 Hong Kongers in late February 2016. In a fast-paced city like Hong Kong, eating out at fast food restaurants is popular. Almost 40% of survey respondents visit fast food restaurants more than 10 times per quarter. But almost 9 in 10 (88%) are also aware of the importance of healthy eating and say they are willing to pay more for healthier food.

McDonald’s may be Hong Kong’s best known fast food restaurant but isn’t seen as the healthiest option

The top 5 fast food brands in terms of consumer awareness in Hong Kong are McDonald’s (94%), KFC (88%), Café de Coral (87%), Starbucks (84%) and Fairwood (82%). But looking at how respondents rank fast food restaurants in terms of how healthy the food is, Café de Coral is ranked top (most healthy), scoring 7.13 out of 10, followed by Subway (score 7.12) and Maxim’s MX (score 6.95). McDonald’s comes in at a 4.29 score, but still ahead of Burger King (score 4.09), and what is perceived to be most unhealthy, KFC, which scores just 3.84. But the majority of people welcome McDonald’s idea of launching a healthier branch.

4 out of 5 respondents say they are likely to visit McDonald’s Next

YouGov’s survey finds that two-thirds (64%) of respondents are aware of the launch of McDonald’s Next. Among that, 4 out of 5 (79%) say they are likely to visit McDonald’s Next. For the remaining people who are not aware of the launch of McDonald’s Next, still, 72% say they are likely to visit this new restaurant. Even though the prices at McDonald’s Next are more expensive than a normal McDonald’s, the majority of respondents still want to visit because they want to try something new (47%), think the prices are still affordable (38%), and like to eat healthy in general (35%).

On the other hand, 23% of respondents say they are unlikely to visit McDonald’s Next, even though the restaurant offers a healthier menu. Key reasons behind this include prices are too expensive (47%), people feel that they don’t get value for the money they spend (36%), the location of McDonald’s Next is not convenient (28%), and that the food served in McDonald’s Next is still not healthy enough (28%).

Data from research was collected amongst YouGov’s panelists in Hong Kong from 26th to 29th February 2016 and was weighted to be representative of online population. Sample: Hong Kong (n=995 with 50% male and 50% female)

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