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Why McDonald's first Organic Burger McB flopped

McDonald's announced, that they will stop selling their first "organic“ hamburger McB. This failure is no surprise for me, as the communication is simply over-promising and I am wondering, how a company with this marketing knowledge and resources, can fall in the trap of „greenwashing“.


1. The McB is just a normal burger with organic beef.

The McB features a 100% organic beef patty - in German, "bio" means organic, thus the name: McB. All the other components (i.e. tomatoes, lettuce, cheese) are not organic. Therefore it is not a McBio as the name suggests.


2. Over-promising advertising campaign suggesting that McDonald's is no organic.

The McB was launched with a large crossmedia campaign, dramatizing an „organic label“ („Bio-Siegel“), from an independent organization. In the TVC this BIO label flies through a green world (neuromarketing!), featuring pristine landscapes, a farm with no machines, a bicyclist and a fresh market, of course. (YouTube) For the launch McDonald's employees were spotted, wearing aprons, with stated, that they now work in an organic shop, like WholeFoods („Ich arbeite im Bioladen“). 

To put things straight. I really appreciate the efforts introducing organic beef at McDonald's, which apparently took them one year to realize. And I even understand, that it is logistically very difficult to maintain separate organic lettuce, tomatoes, buns and so on. But the McB is not an organic burger, as the name and the campaign is suggesting.

I hope, that there will be a next time and that McDonald's takes then into consideration, that green branding has to be credible, honest and holistic and that small steps make large differences.


Süddeutsche Zeitung: McDonald's verabschiedet sich schon wieder vom Bio-Burger. 

Service 2

Mihi quidem Antiochum, quem audis, satis belle videris attendere. Hanc igitur quoque transfer in animum dirigentes.

Service 3

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