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'Fan-tastic' burgers for consumers unveiled

'Fan-tastic' burgers for consumers unveiled

Saying its toasted rice burgers are lifting its earnings, the world's biggest fast-food chain yesterday rolled out another Asian-inspired burger stuffed with shrimps and veggies.

"This item is fantastic. We tried it ourselves, we tested it, and we learned from our consumers. We got very positive results," Steven Lee, managing director and chief executive officer of McDonald's Restaurants (Taiwan) Co. Ltd., said at a product launch featuring pop star Wang Li-hom.

"This is the final product that won our customers' approval. We are confident that we have another winner here," Lee continued.

The burger-and-fries joint is not just using ordinary shrimps for its latest toasted rice burger, added Viya Chen, assistant vice president of the restaurant's marketing and communications department.

Pacific white shrimps, known for their sweet and plump meat, are being used for McDonald's latest toasted rice burger, Chen continued.

"We conducted several studies, and the consumers who took part in our taste tests said they loved its flavor and texture," she said.

The shrimp patty is garnished with shredded iceberg lettuce, red cabbage, and dill mustard.

Rice delights

In February last year, McDonald's launched two varieties of toasted rice burgers in Taiwan: Rice and sesame buns stuffed with slivers of savory braised beef, and a rice and mushroom variety loaded with chicken. The rice buns are toasted on the spot. The Taiwan rice burger is the first of its kind in McDonald's family of products, company officials said.

The fast-food giant sold more than 7.16 million rice burgers in the first 11 months since the "fan-tastic" items - "fan" is Chinese for rice - were added to its menu, they added.

Encouraged by its rice burgers' success in Taiwan, McDonald's also decided to sell its toasted rice buns in Singapore earlier this month.

In Taiwan, McDonald's is pulling out all the stops to produce a more exciting menu.

Last year, the fast-food chain dressed up its french fries with seaweed, garlic and dill, and parsley and curry powder. French fries are the most famous "co-item" on McDonald's menu, said Chen, adding that more than half of McDonald's customers order fries whenever they are in their restaurants.

The restaurant's traditional burger business and finger food line - chicken nuggets and McCrispy Chicken - remain strong, she continued.

The rice burger and flavored fries phenomenon reflects people's changing lifestyles, Chen said.

The franchise currently operates 346 restaurants in Taiwan, and plans are underway to open more outlets, Lee said in an earlier interview.