Foodservice

Japan Ready for Seasonal Return of McRed Bean Paste Pies

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It’s almost autumn in Japan, the season for pouring pumpkin-spiced drinks of all kinds and, exclusively for customers at McDonald’s Restaurants, indulging in piping hot Anko Pie – perhaps paired with a Purple Sweet Potato McShake. Available for a limited time beginning September 15, the pie features a turnover-style fried dough crust filled with red bean paste. It goes for ¥100 (approximately US $0.83), same price as the McShake.

Sweet-Potato-ShakeMcDonald’s has had success with adapting its original apple pastry treat – launched in the United States in 1968 – with other fillings to appeal to various taste preferences around the world. Flavors range from cherry and blueberry to strawberry, pumpkin, taro, banana, peach, apricot, coconut, corn and custard.

Meanwhile, McDonald’s Holdings Co. (Japan) was pleased to report that same-store sales in August rose 2.8% compared with receipts generated during the same month of the prior year. While this marked the first monthly uptick in revenues since January of 2014, the chain’s operations in Japan posted a ¥26.2 billion ($220 million) net loss for the six months through the end of June 2015.

Much of the downturn can be attributed to fallout from negative publicity regarding chicken products made with expired meat sourced from a supplier in China, as well as other food safety issues. McDonald’s has vowed return business to higher levels by seeing to it that its suppliers maximize production safety procedures. It also aims to cut operating costs, renovate outlets and roll out profitable new products.

On the new product front, a number of items were recently introduced. Among them are Cheese Balls with Glutinous Rice, Chicken Moon Burgers with Bacon and Hokkaido Cheese, and a limited-time-only Hazelnut Oreo® McFlurry.

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