McDonald's should be wary of messing with its fry formula

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"Why shouldn't any marketer be worried about making changes to a core product? Just look at New Coke, another product innovation that bombed, and had Coca-Cola scrambling back to its original formula," said Peter Kohan, sales director for Sony BMG Custom Marketing Group. "Perception is reality, so it's always a threat. We are conditioned to believe that things aren't as good as they used to be, and this feeds (no pun intended) consumer dissatisfaction," said Robert Sawyer, a self-employed creative director and brand strategist.

Those nonregulars who treat themselves to fries as a guilty pleasure may be turned away by a change of taste. "Why bother if they might not taste as good?" said Debbie Strong, marketing director for HomeStyle/Economy Plumbing Supply.

"It's a restaurant; you sell what your customers want to eat/like to taste," said Jillian Mulwee, senior service specialist with Woodbury Financial Services.

Since such a move would follow in the trans-fats footsteps of chains such as Burger King and KFC, some readers think there may not be much cause for concern if the playing field is level. "McDonald's should focus on what does make their fries taste better-the potatoes or the seasoning or some secret ingredient," said Luis Portiansky, marketing strategist for Margolin Winer & Evens.

What you say: 53%

Ditching trans fats could be bad for McDonald’s. Fifty-three percent of readers think the company is right to worry about consumers believing its signature fries won’t taste as good if the fast-feeder lives up to its 2002 promise to switch oils.
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