McDonald's worries about losing young adults

The chain is no favorite of the so-called millennials. One reason it's coming out with its new McWrap is to keep this group from heading to Subway.

By Kim Peterson Mar 25, 2013 12:42PM
A sign outside the fast-food chain McDonaldMcDonald's (MCD) is terrified about losing an incredibly important audience: adults ages 18 to 32, also known as "millennials."

This age group doesn't care much for the fast food chain. In fact, McDonald's doesn't even crack the top 10 of this group's favorite restaurants. That's according to a company memo obtained by Advertising Age magazine.

That's one reason McDonald's is launching a new product called the McWrap. The chicken wrap sandwich comes in three flavors and will be available next week.

Without the McWrap, McDonald's would lose millennial customers to Subway, the memo said. The company is calling the McWrap the "Subway buster."

Millennials are losing interest in hamburger chains, with traffic from this age group falling 16% since 2007, Ad Age reported, citing numbers from The NPD Group.

Why the drop in interest? Studies show that millennials value restaurants that serve organic, local and sustainable food, Ad Age reports. They want grass-fed beef and hormone-free products. McDonald's doesn't really come to mind with priorities like these. Subway doesn't either, but at least Subway offers the customization that millennials also crave.

More on moneyNOW

Tags: FoodMCD
Mar 25, 2013 1:18PM

You put enough fat, salt and sugar on anything and it will taste good. This makes me think young people are getting smart about food. Good for them.

Mc Donald's is one of the worst places to eat...  Their food is full of fat, calories, and salt.  Sorry but I am not letting their crap food almost kill me again.  I have not had any of their junk food in over two years...
Mar 25, 2013 1:09PM

We don't like McDonalds because there are plenty of burger places that make fresh food fast for the same prices.  5 Guys and Freddy's know how to do burgers right.


McDonald's needs to rethink the way they do fast food or they're going to go extinct.  Everyone can make burgers quickly if they have a good system, unlike in the 70's, 80's, and 90's.  It's all about taste and freshness nowadays.


The same thing was happening to Domino's pizza until they woke up about 2 years ago and went back to quality instead of speed being the top priority.

Mar 25, 2013 1:40PM
Everyone should rethink their food preference.  Mcdonalds is probably THE WORST thing you can consume. This is not even food; more a slurry of chemicals mimicking real food.

Millions of examples are the kids who regularly eat at McD's.  Majority are fat, diabetic and out of shape.

I would not eat their menu if it were free.
Mar 25, 2013 1:49PM

I am a millenial and the reasons I stopped eating at McDonalds's and other fast food restaurants like it are these:

1.) I used to work there in high school.  I know first-hand how both employees and customers are treated.

2.) Quality of food.  If I'm starving I'll eat at a fast food restaurant, but if there is a grocery store nearby, I'll buy a sandwich from the deli counter instead.

3.) Quality of service.  I've been to some fast food locations that treat their customers & employees better than others, but it's by a slight margin.

4.) I've strived to not be stupid.  A McWrap is not getting me into a McDonald's anytime soon.  It screams empty marketing ploy, not serious company overhaul. McDonald's will have to show me that they have addressed the first 3 issues in earnest.

Mar 25, 2013 1:59PM
I could start with:
---franchises that DON'T accept the coupons that come in the mail
---the prices keep rising as the quality of the product decreases
---being charged extra for a packet of ketchup
---fries that are either dripping with grease, cold, or stale
---staff who don't speak English

...and move on to:
---there are places I can get a better burger for less money (there's a place some 400 feet from where I live that sells 1/2 lb. burgers with blue cheese and a whole Portobello mushroom for $5.95)

Mar 25, 2013 1:30PM

I have a feeling that it is almost second nature for Millennials to use the internet to get informed about a great many things.  Gone are the days when most of us didn't know how bad fast food was for us because nobody told us and there wasn't a way to find out either.  We were hopelessly naive and easily taken advantage of.

Mar 25, 2013 2:01PM

McDonald's should give up. People now know what manufacturers are doing to these animals and actually care about what they are putting in their bodies. Just because chicken is considered a healthy choice doesn't mean it always is. The way they genetically enhance animals makes it worse for you long term than a bowl of ice-cream.

 I would eat a greasy hamburger made from free ranged cow, that HASN'T been injected with antibiotics because it lives in filth and then slaughtered and sprayed with ammonia before I would eat a so called "healthy" chicken wrap from McDonald's. It's not about the calories or the sugar or fats that we are worried about going in our bodies but the chemical, pesticides, etc that are being hidden in our foods. That goes for all chains not just McDonalds.

Mar 25, 2013 1:09PM
McD better return to the inexpensive menu that made them what they are today instead of bringing in all these more expensive sandwiches so they can make more revenue.  It is hard to get out of there with much change for a $20 anymore and we do NOT appreciate that !!!
Mar 25, 2013 2:09PM
Their food sucks, I would rather spend 10 bucks for  a real cheese burger at a restaurant than 6 bucks for crap. Their burgers have no flavor and are not very healthy. I have not eaten fast food in years and don't plan to start again.
Mar 25, 2013 1:32PM

Well I am in my 50's and will not eat McDonald's or any other fast food for that matter and have not for years.  I am thinking a lot of baby boomers are not eating it too.



Mar 25, 2013 1:16PM
As a mom of a couple of kids in that age group I'll tell you why they won't eat at McD. They watched Supersize Me. Here's what's funny, They are sure that McD's is evil but will eat at Burger King or Jack in the Box. I also think they think of McD as something from childhood and happy meals. After all, they have outgrown all that don't ya know. There is a lot of psychology happening with that age group.
Mar 25, 2013 2:44PM
McD you're over analyzing this. Just give us a good burger, some hot fries, and a cold drink and we are happy. We are not expecting a gourmet meal when we come in, just something that is somewhat decent and tasty. It used to be that way! Now you pull a silver dollar size burger out of a plastic drawer, slap it on a bun, add lukewarm, over salted fries, and call it a meal. No wonder Subway is doing well. In my opinion Wendy's and Whataburger do a much better job on food presentation and flavor. Specialty burger places just blow you all out of the water but really not a fair comparison with fast food. Focus a little on quality more than play land and I may stop by once again.
Mar 25, 2013 2:17PM
quit trying. you've made a nation severely obese.

throw in the mcTowel.

Mar 25, 2013 2:37PM

If McDonalds is putting the same chicken and beef in the McWrap as they are in everything else then I don't see how this will solve anything for them. Let me guess, the three "flavors" will be ranch, honey mustard, and barbecue. The lesson they should be learning from all of this is that our generation wants quality, not quantity. 


Mar 25, 2013 2:21PM

And here I thought it was because the service was slow, they almost always screw up your order and the food is cold more often than not. I also don't care to spend $30+ to eat there with the family when I could spend very little more to eat at a resturant or less to eat a home.

Mar 25, 2013 2:01PM
Any profits made by Mcdonalds is likely more than offset by health and funeral expenditures by the general public due to its unhealthy food, and government payouts for food stamps and welfare to its low paid employees. We'd be better off if they shuttered the whole mess and walked away. 
theyre losing people because their service still sucks and you cant get anything foodwise to be hot.
Mar 25, 2013 1:17PM
I didn't know they were ever a favorite of young adults.
Mar 25, 2013 2:03PM
If they would offer a vegetarian option for an entree, that might be one step forward.

And make sure the meat-based items are from higher quality, humanely raised beef and chicken.

This generation doesn't want factory food.  They're aware of what it's doing to people and the planet.

Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.

Trending NOW

What’s this?


[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market finished the Thursday session on a higher note with the S&P 500 climbing 0.5%. The benchmark index registered an early high within the first 90 minutes and inched to a new session best during the final hour of the action.

Equities rallied out of the gate with the financial sector (+1.1%) providing noteworthy support for the second day in a row. The growth-oriented sector extended its September gain to 1.9% versus a more modest uptick of 0.4% for the ... More