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McDonald's hopes to wow Chinese with rice


08:09, June 06, 2013

Wang Xiao takes a souvenir photo for his wife Hou Jin outside the McDonald's restaurant at Chang'an Market, where he tasted the American fast-food for the first time at the age of 11, in Beijing, capital of China, March 24, 2013. Opened in 1993 as the second outlet of the American fast-food giant in Beijing, the Chang'an Market McDonald's made indelible impressions on locals. Due to reconstruction and adjustment of the market, the outlet will discontinue its business Sunday. [Photo: Xinhua]

SHANGHAI, June 5 (Xinhua) -- With an eye on dinner tables in the Chinese mainland, McDonald's, the world's leading fast food operator, on Wednesday announced new rice products for the mainland market.

Starting from June 10, the new products, including chicken and beef rice wraps, will be sold in all 1,700 McDonald's restaurants on the Chinese mainland.

The core menu, including the chain's staples like the Big Mac and McChicken, will not be changed, Kenneth Chan, chief executive officer of McDonald's China, said in the press release.

"Our new dining options are examples of how McDonald's innovates to bring more options to our Chinese customers, because that's what they want," Chan said.

The company's strategy includes more efforts to develop the night consumption market from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m., thought it has put more emphasis on breakfast, lunch and afternoon snacks in the past, he said in an interview with Xinhua.

According to the latest data from McDonald's, dinner foods account for half of foreign food operators' sales in China and this market is growing at a double-digit pace.

Meanwhile, McDonald's will set a series of standards regarding rice quality and safety, Chan told Xinhua. McDonald's sources the rice it uses on the mainland from Harbin, capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, one of the country's major grain production areas.

The company plans to maintain its competitiveness and boost its overall business growth by increasing the variety of the products it offers, he said.

McDonald's opened its mainland first store in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, in 1990. It has currently more than 1,700 outlets and over 90,000 employees on the Chinese mainland. It plans to recruit 75,000 more this year, and the number of mainland outlets is expected to reach 2,000 by 2014.

The U.S.-based fast food giant has about 34,000 stores worldwide. In 2012, McDonald's same store sales rose 3.1 percent as revenues rose 2 percent to 27.57 billion U.S. dollars.

In 2013, the company plans to invest about 3.2 billion U.S. dollars of capital in opening 1,500 to 1,600 new restaurants and reinvesting in existing locations. It targets a system-wide sales increase of 3 percent to 5 percent and operating income growth of 6 percent to 7 percent.

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