McDonald's displays product ideas at worldwide franchisee meeting

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McDonald's Corp., Oak Brook, Ill., is touting a raft of new products at its biennial meeting of franchisees opening today in Orlando, Fla., including Thick 'n Creamy Shakes and McFlurry ice cream treats with Oreo, Butterfinger, M&M and Nestle Crunch mix-ins (an apparent take-off on International Dairy Queen's signature Blizzard ice cream treat). The burger giant, putting food as the central focus of the worldwide convention, is also showcasing a new Crispy Chicken sandwich, a Vegetable Deluxe sandwich for international markets and two breakfast bagel sandwiches.

The company told conventioneers that a global franchisee survey revealed what franchisees believed to be the top methods for attracting new customers: 36% cited local store marketing; 28% cited regional/national advertising; 21% cited clean, refreshed stores; and 15% cited extra-value meals and other value offerings.

The company said it plans to launch its first global Happy Meal this summer in tandem with the release of the animated feature film "Mulan" from Walt Disney Co., McDonald's' partner in a 10-year global alliance. Also on center stage at the convention is the McDonald's' new "Made for You" system of food preparation, designed to improve food quality at the chain.

Copyright March 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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