McDonald’s flips Hamburglar, embraces kale

McDonald’s is working to bring the lovin’ back into its brand after its sales dropped seven percent in 2014. CEO Steve Easterbrook said this week he plans to completely overhaul the company, cutting costs, sprucing up its menu and restructuring its empire. But to remain relevant, McDonald’s is going down some wacky avenues, pursuing a revamp of its Hamburglar character and adding kale to breakfast meals.

The 60-year-old company’s profits last year dropped 15 percent across its 36,200 restaurants worldwide.

“The reality is our recent performance has been poor. The numbers don’t lie,” Easterbrook said.

“The message is clear. We are not on our game.”

He said that one of the company’s priorities was returning excitement to its brand.

It has done this in a variety of ways, including a delivery service in New York, an all-day breakfast menu in San Diego and a build your own burger option that is being trialled at six stores around New Zealand, including stores in Balmoral and Albany in Auckland.

But some of the initiatives the company has taken are a little more … interesting.

One of its latest changes is making the iconic baby-faced redhead that was the Hamburglar all grown up. 

Instead of a snaggle tooth and prison clothes, the new Hamburglar 2.0 has a black Zorro mask, trendier clothes and a black fedora (Hipster Hamburglar?)

He’s also reasonably good looking, with Twitter users saying he’s the new “hot convict.”

Others find him creepy and think his get up looks like a “sexy Hamburglar” outfit found on a Halloween costume website.

So far, Ronald McDonald’s iconic clown looks have remained the same with no trendy makeover.

One of the other interesting choices McDonald’s has made is adding kale to its breakfast bowls.

The trendy leafy green superfood is being trialled in several of its California branches.

The breakfast food dish includes turkey sausage, egg white and spinach.

McDonald’s adding kale to its menu is kind of a big deal.

The chain previously marketed itself as being kale-free and loud and proud about it, with a burger ad saying: “All vegetarians, foodies and gastronauts kindly avert your eyes. You can’t get juiciness like this from soy or quinoa. Nor will that ever be kale.”

Though innovation is always appreciated in business, we’re not sure these changes will fly.

However, considering it made $35 billion in sales in the US alone last year and its annual marketing budget is $2 billion, it can afford a few hits and misses.

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