Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Would You Like a Curry Pan With That?

From McDonalds India website: McAloo Tikki

Check out "Brand Magic in India", a great article in BusinessWeek about how popular American consumer brands are adapting their products to appeal to the Indian market. Some have more success than others. Kellogg found that Corn Flakes didn't fly in a country where people just don't like to start their mornings off with cold milk. Due to that cultural quirk, the product was doomed. Pizza Hut struggled to sell pizza with what we think of as traditional toppings--then introduced a "Tandoori Pizza" tailored to the local palate, and saw store traffic quadruple.

"The best brands," author Brad Nemer says, "are confident enough to adapt without compromising their core strengths. When faced with a new technology or market, they can translate the value proposition in meaningful ways that are consistent with both their heritage and their potential."

Consider the case of McDonald's, whose beef-centric product line was rendered useless in a country where cows are sacred to the Hindu population. You won't find pork products in Indian McDonalds either, so as to not offend Muslim sensibilities. Not only that, but a good number of Indians don't eat meat at all. What to do? Offer a vegetarian line, and a non-veg line free of beef or pork, of course. Vikram Bakshi, McDonald's managing director of India North, says "Today 70 percent of our menu is 'Indianized.'"

Top seller is something called the McAloo Tikki, described on the McDonalds India website as "Fried breaded potato & peas patty that is flavoured with a special spice mix, fresh tomato slices, onion, and veg. tomato mayonnaise between toasted buns." Don't miss the Paneer Salsa Wrap, Veg McCurry Pan, and the Chicken Maharaja Mac, all of which are favorites on the menu.

And yes, you can still get fries with that.


ABT said...

Mmm some of those McDonalds products actually sound good. I bet food's harder to ruin with cheap stock and sloppy cooking when you're using vegetables :)

niti bhan said...

Credit that quote, it's Brad Nemer's line. He wrote it. Powerful concept isn't it?

Jay said...

Thank you for your comment, Ms. Bhan. (To my readers, Niti Bhan was the co-author of the article, along with Brad Nemer.) I have edited my post to give Mr. Nemer credit for his excellent quote.