Product Review: McDonald’s Signature Collection
This Food Adventure takes me a little off-piste to visit a fast-food restaurant; now, I know what you’re thinking but before you judge me I have good reason…
The food revolution in the UK knows no bounds and is responsible for bringing higher quality and more diverse foods to more people. So, if we’re to assume that the menus of globalised multinationals are a good dipstick for the zeitgeist then the subject of this review needs to be celebrated as an advancement.
The QSR channel is changing with the trends in the UK and the shopper is now just as adept at visiting a trendy, refurbished Citroen CV food truck as a big brand fascia. This channel is, arguably, the most important for driving food trends. As a Foodpreneur it’s the most cost efficient way to take your idea to market and get real-time customer feedback. There are some brilliant examples of great businesses that have jumped on the wave of the food revolution and launched with an on-the-go or QSR offering such as EAT 17 and Gourmet Burger Kitchen.
The market has exploded over the last 10 years with trends being driven by international cuisines, provenance and product quality. However the huge multinationals have ignored any sweeping trends and allowed smaller brands to fight for the popular vote. Which makes sense as global brands need to take advantage of the efficiencies of scale in their internationalisation strategies so the small scale trends can only be satisfied by the interjection of an onion ring and some BBQ sauce under the ‘Rodeo’ heading; until now…
Appeals to: traditional Maccies fans and the new food revolutionaries
Perfect. The packaging created for The Signature Collection is unlike anything I’ve seen at McDonald’s. The glossy branded box has been replaced by a matte black box with a simple classy design. The burger itself is nestled in grease proof paper to preserve the freshness of the box. It’s a simple touch but the packaging really sets the scene for the feed.
£4.69 – this price point establishes The Signature Collection as a more premium offering to the standard ranges and also is a very reasonable price for such a great burger.
The first impact of The Signature Collection is how aesthetically awesome it looks. You could be forgiven for accusing the McDonald’s marketeers of beefing up (pun definitely intended) their product shots to make them look more inviting however this burger needs no photoshopping. The thick, succulent beef patty is joined by a fresh, vibrant salad and the whole meaty party is comforted by a brioche bun with the colour of a setting sun. I hope your mouth is watering – because mine was!
The first flavour to reach the tongue is the combination of the tangy tomato ketchup and the wholegrain mustard mayonnaise which lay the foundations for the sweet, light brioche bread. The peppery patty enters to release a full beef flavour that is off-set by the salty bacon and creamy cheese. The salad adds a cool, crisp bite to ensure that the textures and flavours are deep and meaningful. This is a bloody brilliant burger!
If you’ve got a slightly sweet tooth then this is the burger for you! The opening concerto for this symphony is set by the sweet, sticky BBQ sauce which leads into a solo from the peppered beef patty. The creamy cheddar cheese and coleslaw offer a juxtaposition that plays well with the intense beef and BBQ.
Just like with children I feel like I shouldn’t be pinning a rosette to my favourite but I’m going to; and it goes to The Spicy, it’s brilliant! The first flavour for this burger is the meaty, spicy relish which sets a vinegar base with the sharp jalapenos which play gently with the sweet brioche bun. The juicy patty cuts through the spice with the creamy Pepper Jack cheese. The heat isn’t overpowering and doesn’t blow your socks off but it might offer a sharp kick to the shin and certainly left my lips tingling.
Verdict – in a word, game-changing! In my opinion The Signature Collection’s inclusion in the McDonald’s mainstream signifies a great shift in British food trends and a step forward in consumer demand driving the agenda of big corporations. I even noticed a shift in the ambience of the McDonald’s restaurant as classical music filled my ears whilst I filled my mouth! So now it seems as though Ronald McDonald has scrunched his red, curly hair into a top knot and covered his white make-up with an unkempt hipster beard. Ronald has shed his garish, yellow onesie for a plaid shirt with skinny jeans and his elongated shoes are now brown, leather loafers – no socks. Thus the McHipster is born! So the burger pioneers have upped their game with a great American burger but what’s next for Maccies? The McTapas? The McSushi? I can’t wait to find out!