Consumers want to know where their food comes from, and – in Australia at least – McDonald’s is utilizing technology to tell them.
In Australia, McDonald’s is commonly called Macca’s, so McDonald’s has launched a free iPhone app called TrackMyMacca’s that can be downloaded via Facebook or iTunes. It uses the GPS in a smart phone to find out what restaurant you’re in, image recognition to see what you’re eating, and the date and time to track the exact ingredients that went into your food.
‘TrackMyMacca’s’ works with food that comes in specially marked boxes, including the McChicken burger, Big Mac, Filet-O-Fish, and Chicken McNuggets. Augmented reality is used to provide interactive information about McDonald’s and its supply chain, turning the iPhone into an ingredient tracker.
Image-activation software identifies the specific food purchased and all this info, combined with the date and time, is cross-referenced with McDonald’s supply-chain data.
The app then pinpoints where (the bakery, ranch, farm, canner, etc., often by name) the ingredients in the food about to be consumed originated.
The app can supply the name and photo of the farmer, rancher or fisherman by whom a product is supplied. Choose an ingredient and sourcing details—customized to the location, product and date—are offered. For example: “To make great Chicken McNuggets we need great chicken morsels. So we got ours from Eagle Farm, Queensland.” A sourcing message for a burger bun might be “Fresh buns are the building blocks of a good burger. That’s why our Martin Place restaurant could have up to three deliveries a week. You’ll find our bakers at the Fresh Start Bakery, not far away in Liverpool, New South Wales.”
The TrackMyMacca’s app will track selected menu items in all Australian McDonald’s restaurants from Jan. 16, 2013, through June 30, 2013.
McDonald’s also announced it is changing the signage to “Macca’s” on 13 selected restaurants across Australia in honor of Australia Day on January 26. McDonald’s opened its first restaurant down under in Sydney in 1971.
Now for the first time, McDonald's is making its much-loved Aussie nickname "Macca's" official. Chief marketing officer Mark Lollback said, “We've been a part of Australia for over 40 years now and we're incredibly proud to embrace our 'Australian-only' nickname."