Wed, Sep 28, 2005 - Page 1 News List

Are McDonald's rice burgers set for global domination?

By Jessie Ho  /  STAFF REPORTER

McDonald's Restaurants (Taiwan) Co yesterday celebrated sales of its home-grown rice burgers, which topped 5 million units six months after hitting the market, saying the local taste may be available in McDonald's worldwide soon.

"By combining Western and Eastern flavors, we created the most successful homemade product, which has the chance to debut on McDonald's menus around the globe," Steven Lee (李明元), McDonald's Taiwan's chief executive officer, said at a celebration.

The fast-food chain started offering two types of toasted rice burgers, with a choice of either chicken or beef sandwiched between rice buns, in February this year. The items soon became one of the firm's best-sellers with a fresh taste, said Shalom Chen (陳家祥), senior manager at communications division of McDonald's Taiwan.

The overwhelming result boost McDonald's Taiwan's confidence, and therefore the company introduced the taste to representatives of McDonald's from all over the world at an enterprise global meeting in April this year, Chen said.

Since the tryout, officials from McDonald's in other countries have showed high interest in the product and visited Taiwan to learn about it, she said.

The product also caught the eye of McDonald's chief executive officer for Asia-Pacific, who introduced the rice burgers at a McDonald's Analyst Meeting held in Wall Street this month, pushing the item to higher attention, she said.

McDonald's Taiwan has developed several products in the past, including Japanese style pork burger, kimchi burger, grain burger and others, but none of the products have had the success of the rice burgers, Chen said.

"I think, as rice is a principal food in Taiwan and Asia, the burgers obviously appeal to a large group of rice lovers," Chen said.

As consumers now have higher awareness of healthy diet, the items' comparative low calories became another selling point of the rice burgers, Chen said.

With a weight of 223g, rice burgers have 378 calories each, while a Big Mac, with a weight of 215g, has 529 calories, she said.

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