Looks like the golden arches are losing their luster.
McDonald's Corp. reported flat sales in July, its worse performance in more than nine years. According to Reuters, "results came in far below Wall Street's expectation" and marked the first time since April 2003 that sales did not rise. I can't help but say, I'm lovin' it.
"We've grown used to seeing McDonald's weather bad economies, so this is a bit of a surprise," RBC Capital analyst Larry Miller told Reuters.
While the mega fast food chain suspects a weakening global economy is taking a bite out of consumer's discretionary income, I can't help but hope/wonder if something else is at play. Are we finally getting smarter about our food choices?
Last month, Olympic hopeful Ryan Lochte made public his decision to ditch fast food to increase his chances for gold in London. At the games in Beijing, the swimmer ate at McDonald's three times a day and gained 13 pounds of body fat. "I think overall, I'm just a lot older, smarter, and a better athlete than I was going into Beijing," he told Us Weekly. "I changed my diet and I started doing heavier weight lifting."
Then there was McDonald's Twitter promotion backfire earlier this year. The chain asked users to share positive experiences using the hashtag #McDStories. Instead, the hashtag was hijacked to bash the chain.
Some of the best:
- #McDStories I just read that McDonalds chicken nuggets have a foaming agent in them, similar to products used for building materials
- One time I walked into McDonalds and I could smell Type 2 diabetes floating in the air and I threw up. #McDStories
- I used to like McDonalds. I stopped eating McDonalds years ago because every time I ate it I felt like I was dying inside. #McDStories
In China, where frequent scandals like melamine in milk leave consumers weary of the food supply, McDonald's fare has been perceived with a healthy glow for being safe. But even there, consumers are giving the chain a second look. June sales slipped 1.7 percent in Japan and China, according The Washington Post.
"I am Chinese. I have not eaten McDonald's and KFC for many years. In China, these kind of food is called 'foreign rubbish food' for its high fat. Most of people here don't take western fast food as their first choice for eating," wrote one commenter in an NPR article explaining the popularity of the McDonald's in China.
Sounds like it's time for the chain to revamp its menu offerings.