They don't like to admit it, of course, but the French are the #2 consumers of McDonald's in the world. And now McDo, as it's known, plans to start serving just-baked baguettes.
Rest assured: we'll be hearing a lot about McDough in the months to come!
A new line of French breakfast items (baguettes, butter, jam, etc.) will be rolled out across France next month in the chain's 130 McCafés (separate counters offering coffee, pastries and buns); baguette sandwiches will follow next year.
The arrival of the baguette, the company says, is just another step in its efforts to cater more successfully to French food habits but also to boost breakfast sales, which now account for just 1% of McDonald's sales in France.
Le Figaro reports McDo will work with local producers: The baguettes will be baked on the spot, with dough from the French company Groupe Holder, which already provides the pastries for McCafé. The butter will come from the French cooperative of Isigny and the jam from "a traditional producer in the
The French still eat nine times more sandwiches than hamburgers and 60% of these sandwiches are made on baguettes. The favorite baguette sandwich remains the traditional ham and butter.
"The French love the baguette. We are just progressively responding to a natural demand," says the senior VP of McDonald's for
and France Southern Europe.
Supermarkets now sell packaged breads of all sorts, of course, and many large grocery chains have full bakeries within them. Yet the French make a strong distinction between breads baked the traditional or artisanal way and those that come from “industrial” or “commercial” bakeries. To call itself a boulangerie, a shop must sell only breads made from dough crafted on the premises. Stores that sell bread baked from prepared doughs--or breads baked in large production kitchens, for example--must call themselves depots de pain.
In food circles worldwide, there’s been a lot of talk lately about a crisis in French cuisine.
is letting go of too many of its grand culinary traditions, they say, and, as a result, has lost its status as the global gastronomic leader. People blame the government and high taxes, culinary globalization, the demise of the small family-owned farm, the two-career family and, of course, the spread of fast-food chains. France
Photo: "Le Petit Parisien" by Willy Ronis,
, 1952. Paris