McDonald’s is believed to have changed its marketing to 100 percent beef after a campaign by popular chef, Jamie Oliver, which claimed that the franchise was initially using ammonia-processed beef.
McDonald’s began using the 100 percent beef marketing campaign as early as 2013. According to reports, the advertising tactic was speculated to be a response to its closest competitor, Burger King, needing to discard of its meat products after its Irish beef supplier, Silvercrest, was found to have supplied meat that allegedly contained horse meat DNA.
However, McDonald’s’ use of the 100 percent beef tagline may be attributed to the campaign by popular and internationally recognised celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver. As early as the early 2010s, Oliver embarked on a journey to prove that the franchise did not use real beef to make its patties.
The suggestion that McDonald’s was not using real beef patties was a matter that had been rumoured before. However, the conversation was further fuelled by Oliver and his campaign on his television show, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. On the show, Oliver was on a journey to improve the dietary offering of school cafeterias.
Therefore, he propagated the fact that McDonald’s was using ammonia-processed beef. However, his victory was only recognised in 2018, after McDonald’s changed its entire marketing strategy for its patties to highlight its use of 100 percent real beef.
Moreover, the pink slime campaign by Oliver also contributed to the change in strategy, according to reports. The campaign featured Oliver showing children the McDonald’s patties that were made for the kids’ meals. After showing the children how the burger, or pink slim, was made, many of the children were reluctant to eat the burger. Therefore, the franchise has been promoting its use of 100 percent beef since 2018, which may have been because of the pressure applied by Oliver.