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Introduction-McDonald’s have been thinking about replacing its menu thatcurrently has a lot of junk food in it for a wide variety of healthy options.

McDonald’s do need to understand this is a huge marketing idea and could have anegative impact on the business. Most people go to McDonald’s because it has abig name for providing good quality food which is tasty and unhealthy, if theychange their menu for a healthier option it’s possible that the food could godown in taste therefore losing some customers. Some members of the public eatvery healthy and like to reward themselves at the end of a week of eating verygood foods to a McDonalds because it’s unhealthy and if McDonald’s take awaythis aspect these sort of people will go to another fast food restaurant. Iwill be creating a research plan to give McDonalds an idea of whether theyshould replace its junk food menu for healthier options and the plan willconsider the research problem and possible ways to over come this.

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      Research problems- Theresearch problem of if another company either a new business or an existingrival started to make healthy fast food how would McDonalds compete with them. McDonaldsneed to think about are there any other businesses out there who are alreadydoing this and if so how are McDonalds going to make sure there better thanthem and provide a better menu then this business. McDonaldsneed to consider if changing the menu to healthier options will be profitableor not, because McDonalds refer to themselves as the biggest fast food companyin the world and been running successfully for over 70 years. McDonalds need tobegin to contemplate in the long term whether changing the menu to healthierfood options will have a negative or positive impact on the business, and will itwork towards McDonalds goals and aims for the future.

A statement taken fromthe McDonalds website reads “To be our customer’s favourite place and way toeat and drink, our worldwide operations are aligned around global strategy planto win” This goal shows that if they take the risk and change the menu it couldhave a negative effect on the aims and objectives of the business. McDonaldsknow that there current menu is very popular which currently brings in anoutstanding $75 million dollars every day in the USA alone. This impressivenumber shows McDonalds are making a huge profit and in regards to profit isthere any need to change the menu.

 Howdo government guidelines influence McDonalds?Thegovernment suggest that everyone should have 5 a day which is to eat at leastfive portions of fruit and vegetables each day this is based on advice from theworld health organisation who say by following this guideline you lower therisk of serious health problems, it has been proven that there are great healthbenefits to getting at least five portions of vegetables and consumed a day,fruit and vegetables are high in vitamin c and potassium and also a strongsource of minerals. They also have good amount of fibre in them so lower therisk of bowel cancer. McDonalds know the clear benefits of providing healthierfood to their customers can do to their health so it might not be because theywant to make a profit it might be because they know how many people buy theirfood every day and if they change their menu they could be adding healthbenefits to the public and preventing illnesses such as cancer and heart disease. Whatif competitors decide to change their menu to healthier options as well how areMcDonalds going to cope with this?Ifa big rival competitor like Burger king decides to offer much healthier menuoptions then McDonalds will need to make sure they have an edge over them. McDonaldswill need to see Burger kings menu and better it for example if they see Burgerking are offering a basic veggie burger then McDonalds could not only offer aveggie burger but make sure the burger is high in protein, low in saturatedfats this will make customers prefer to come to McDonalds rather than burgerking for the health aspect.  McDonaldsmust conduct research to adapt their knowledge in the market and to furthertheir awareness about healthier food options and find out whether they cancompete with current healthy food restaurants and see if they would fit intothis market. Willit be beneficial and be a good idea to replace its existing junk food withhealthier options and how this market could adapt and change in the future.There are a few issues that McDonald’s will come across and they will need tothink about how big these issues are and if the menu change is worth it.

McDonaldswill have to think about the possible costs that they could expect to have ifthey do go through with the menu change. Healthy food is generally moreexpensive then unhealthy food for example in a supermarket fruit is a lot moreexpensive then chocolate so if McDonalds were to change part of their dessertmenu from a chocolate related item to a fresh fruit related item then its more thanlikely it’s going to be more expensive meaning they might have to up theirprice from their previous price resulting in unhappy customers.Researchquestions- 1-     Should McDonalds change their menu for healthieroptions or keep it the same?2-     Do consumers prefer healthy food or better tastingfood?3-     How do government guidelines effect McDonalds4-     What if competitors decide to change their menu tohealthier options as well how are McDonalds going to cope with this?5-     How would the consumers react to a menu change?6-     Is changing the menu going to be profitable?  Marketingresearch funnel-The marketing research funnel helps to demonstrate a layoutfor market research.

The diagram starts with secondary research this is thewidest part of the diagram because it is supposed to show how this is where mostof the research is from. Underneath there is qualitative  research and underneath that there isquantitative research which is where the facts and figures are from and thenlastly experimental research is at the bottom because this is where the lowest amountof research is from.  Secondary research-Thismethod is definitely the most used method for gathering data through secondarysources. It’s very easily accessible. Secondary data is data that has alreadybeen collected from previous sources and it’s there ready for you to access.Researches like secondary research because getting information is really cheapcompared to if they had to find the information out themselves. Secondaryresearch is regularly used to help clarify primary research. Secondary datashould always come first because the data has already been found so it savestime.

While finding secondary data a metasearch can be used which will searchwith lots of search engines at a time which gives a better and wider search,which can be very beneficial to McDonalds because they need to find veryspecific secondary research which can be hard to find but by using a metasearchit becomes easier to find. McDonalds need to consider how much time they aregoing to spend researching because if they spend too much time then they won’thave enough time to focus on the research question however too little time willgive poor results and not enough information. However secondary research isonly from information that has already been gathered so if McDonalds wanted tofind something that has been found out they won’t find it out. McDonalds couldfind information about their competitors online such as KFC and Burger King andlook at what they are contributing to the market and how McDonalds can betterwhat they are doing.  McDonalds will needto have a look at their secondary data this will be better than other sourcesbecause McDonalds have actually sourced and collected this by themselves.

McDonaldsshould get up their sales of how many times a certain product has been sold bydoing this they can see if the current healthier options they have in storehave been selling well compared to the other foods or not, for example look athow many times the fruit bag has been sold compared to the chocolate fudgecake. This then provides McDonalds with some information and could help adecision about whether to get healthier options in because if they find thatthe fruit bag has been bought a lot more tines then the chocolate fudge cakethen they are more likely to add a lot more fruit related deserts into theirmenu. Then if that is successful then they will look at swapping out their mainmeals for healthier options for example swapping onion ring sides for a side ofbroccoli.

McDonalds should access businesses research who provide just healthyfood and look at how popular they are and what healthy foods people areactually buying because they don’t want to change their menu to a lot ofhealthy options and then find out that the healthy foods that they have changedto aren’t the healthy foods that the public actually want. External secondarydata is where other people collect data from your external environment, McDonaldscould look into this and see what the customers think of their brand. There arevarious reports on the internet that this can be collected from that show whatare the country’s preferred fast food restaurant. A questionnaire I’ve foundonline has stated that 6.

7/10 people prefer McDonalds then Burger King and 7/10people feel like McDonalds should offer more vegetables on their menu andprovide more salad in their burger. This is really important information andshows that McDonalds is more popular than its main rival’s burger king and thatMcDonald’s customers do want McDonalds to provide more salad in with theirburgers meaning they want a healthier meal and also want a wider variety ofvegetables on the menu. This information indicates to McDonalds that if theywere to change their menu it would be supported by their customers. Also McDonaldshave a large number of loyal customers who will still buy from McDonalds evenif they change their menu.

Even though there is a small problem with thisresearch method which is that the data that you get is already existing and hasbeen gathered by someone else for a specific reason which could be different toyours. The sources that are found you don’t know their reliability and if theretruthful sources for example a magazine about the best healthiest foods McDonaldscould use this information to find out what are popular healthy foods and thenuse it to change their menu when actually the magazine was the best healthierfood for the body when McDonalds want to find out what the most popular healthyfoods are taste wise so they can try and add this into their menu. So sometimesthe information found doesn’t necessarily correlate to the information needed.   Primaryresearch-This is where a business would find new data that has not been found before,this can be done in several ways including focus groups, interviews andquestionnaires.  Primary research isspilt into two parts these are known as Qualitative and Quantitative data.Qualitive data –Qualitative research contains a rangeof methods such as interviews and focus groups to look in detail the vitalopinions and the details of the customer. It’s important to understand what thecustomers like and want because essentially if you provide something that thecustomers do not like then they will not buy it and the business will loseprofits. By doing interviews and focus groups it allows businesses like McDonaldis to create a strong connection with the customers and could create a start tobrand loyalty with certain people as they will feel that their the companyreally cares about their opinion.

Interviews and focus groups create a goodatmosphere and allows the business to truly connect with the participants whereas an online survey the business doesn’t know who is behind the screen and theperson is more likely to lie on an online survey rather than in person. Nowwith McDonalds possibly replacing its current menu with healthier optionswhatever answers they get from the interviews and focus groups they can use toadapt their business plan because if they get results which they find are predominantlyagainst healthier food options then McDonalds will think if my target marketdon’t necessarily think it’s a good idea then why should we do it. This type ofresearch is more personal, so the research questions are also a lot morepersonal and more complex this is better because the result tend to be honest. Thisis soft data which is where data is quantified and collected from observations.

Many businesses use this method for product reviews and customer satisfaction.McDonalds could choose to gather analysis on whether the general public wouldprefer healthier options or stick with the current menus. This would easily bydone by a focus group which is where data is collected by group interaction avery popular research technique, a small group of people are specificallyselected and McDonalds then give the area to discuss. Focus groups arebeneficial to the business because they look at the behaviour of the selectedgroup and how they react when certain things are said. Focus groups areexpensive because unlike surveys and questionnaires everyone who participatesin the focus group will need to be paid. Also the participants could have biasviews which results in inexact answers and information.

It has been known for companiesto push focus groups in a certain direction to which they would prefer theconversation to go for example the questions they would ask could be worded intheir favour. Which means they may not be honest when answering the questions.This is why the interview chosen must be good at their job and asks the right questions.The group of people chosen need to be carefully picked because someparticipants could be very confident and take control of the discussion leavingsome members not talking much giving a bias result at the end. Although focusgroups give understandings on how the company’s competitors are doing forexample by knowing how their product is designed, packaged the cost of theproduct or service.

All of the participants get a chance to ask questions toeach other and to the interviewer this will give more information. Participantscan also pick up on what other participants are saying and make their argument stronger.If the interviewer is trained correctly and good at their job they will be ableto pick up on body language left by the participants for example sweating andplaying with hands could mean the participant is lying. Sampling plan- During the research process thesampling plan is very important. It is the process where McDonalds are going toidentify and finding a sample group of participants that will fit the criteriaand provide important data to the company. McDonalds will need to fourdifferent stages for the sampling plan. They need to know who their targetmarket is for example looking at information and data about if people preferhealthier option food or unhealthier food and what sort of healthy foods dopeople like.

McDonalds will need look at the different seasons and if thatchanges what foods people order for example in the summer a lot more peoplewill be buying a fruit ice frappe then in the winter. So McDonalds should lookat the summer period specifically and plan to monitor their fruit ice frappesand their fruit bags carefully, this should be a 3 month time period. Thisamount of time is suitable because it’s when the country will be at itshottest. A good planned sampling plan is needed for McDonalds because of howhuge the risk is of changing their menu they need to know how much it is goingto cost them to do so and if they are likely to make a profit on it.

A sampleframe must be made that represents the population for example a register of allthe local residents in the area that visit McDonalds. McDonalds can send emailsto their customers who have participated in their competition attaching anonline survey for them to complete with questions relating to McDonalds marketsearch and McDonalds can say by completing this survey you are entered into adraw to win £500 which will make customers more likely to fill in the survey. McDonaldsshould look for about 5000 responses to make the sample accurate and because ofMcDonald’s big customer base this number is reasonable. This number will alsogive accurate and realistic Reponses to McDonalds because if it was lower theanswers could be vary varied. McDonald’s pick up their samples at their convenienceit is very quick and easy.

Quantitative Research- This is a method of academic and non-academiccontexts used in market research and its main priority is to find numericaldata. McDonald’s Questionnaire that they are emailing to their customers willhelp the quantitative research. The questionnaire questions will be veryspecific and very structured and to get accurate information the questionsasked will predominantly be yes or no answers, because the answers are mainlyyes and no this will mean it will be harder for the customers to be bias in oneway or another. This will be very cheap do because McDonald’s have got specialisedstaff which means it will be less time consuming to get the result they want. McDonald’swould be emailing their customers with the hope to get 5000 responses this isvery quick and cheap way to gather data.  .

   Questionnaire-Please circle your response-1-How old are you?15-20   21-30    31-40    41-50    51+2- What gender are you?Male     Female3- How often do you go to McDonald’s?Once a week.     2-3 times a week.      3+4- Do you like McDonald’s current menu?Yes I like it.

                  No I don’t like it.5- Who do you prefer McDonald’s, KFC or BurgerKing.McDonald’s     KFC         Burger King.7-     Do you think McDonald’s have enough healthyfood options?Yes                 No8-     How would you feel if McDonald’s added healthieroptions to their menu?Iwould like it.                             I wouldn’t like it.9-     Would you prefer more Vegetables or fruit tobe added to the menu?Vegetables.

                          Fruit.10-  Would you bewilling to pay more money for a healthier food option?Yes.                                     No.  Limitations of the research-The limitations of the data was that McDonald’sdidn’t collect the data. This means the data McDonald’s accessed has alreadybeen found by other businesses for specific reasons which could be different toMcDonald’s so therefore the data might not be reliable. Also with the online questionnairea lot of people won’t see the email because it was go into junk or they will justignore the email. Therefore it might not get answered very much but luckilybecause of McDonald’s such large cliental they should get enough responses.  Conclusion- Inclusively Ifeel like there is adequate data and information provided in this report for McDonald’sto decide whether they should replace its existing junk food meu with healthieroptions.

The market research I have provided has been more in the favour that McDonald’sshould change their menu because customers are wanting more healthier meals thesedays it’s whether McDonald’s think they will make a profit doing this.  

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