Wednesday, February 21, 2018

McDonalds Rice Fiesta - Can they conquer the Super Passi?

If you had a chance to read my earlier post on McDonald's strategy,  you'd know that their recent launch in South Indian market is a new rice based product. With a strong affinity towards rice items and a primary meal for both lunch and dinner , it comes as no surprise that Mcdonald's is venturing into this segment.


Currently regarded as a "bread" or "Burger-Fries" joint, the new product come as welcome relief to many families who'd want something "else". Though it's difficult to break the perception in the beginning and it may be a while till McDonald's can actually be known for a food place that serves a "complete" meal for the family. The latest rice addition only accelerates that growth and eventually puts them on the desired path.

With a tagline of "Super Passi", it aims to fill "the hunger" through the rice fiesta. Again another first from the brand, who was earlier a choice for a evening snack or a quick takeaway of their burgers.

McDonalds's Rice Fiesta - Variants


The neproduct, namely Rice Fiesta comes in two different variants
  • Veggies and Cheese Rice

 Given the two alternatives, I chose this one and gave it a try. Served in a large plastic box, the Veggie & Cheese Rice fiesta looked very good at first glance. Scored high both on temperature, quantity and presentation. The Rice Fiesta had a mixture of rice (Brownish white in colour) and vegetables like carrot, peas and corn. The top layer , which adds the flavor and the taste to the rice, has a mixture of melted cheese, zucchini tossed in cream (something resembling the top layer of a corn au gratin/lasagne).


  • Beans and Gravy Rice  

Quite similar to the Veggies & Cheese, this however comes with the non-cheese variant. You have a "Indian gravy" kinda layer that replaces the cheese and a healthy portion of vegetables and beans mixed along with it . The top layer contains a large portion of tomato gravy mixed with basil, garlic,  and some pepper for the spice. People who'd prefer a much spicy variant may definitely opt for this . The rice below is mixed with beans, carrot , kidney beans and chick peas.



(The above is also available in a non-veg variants served along with chicken chunks)

Presentation  & Review  :

The cheese layer  in the Veggie and Cheese variant was excellent, creamy and of course a scoop of rice along with the cheese layer made it a perfect combination. However as you get to the bottom layers of the rice and the hotness subsides, it becomes slightly difficult to finish it . So the trick is to not immediate finish off the top layer ( Like we do eating cream biscuits). You have to use the given spoon to mix the cheese and rice layers pretty neatly and you can finish it off in no time.

The rice is much different from the usual Fried rice you get in restaurants or the Chinese bowl of rice that you get in places like Wangs Kitchen. Somewhere between a cross of Mexican and Indian, this has potential to definitely be a great alternative for the burgers ( and much healthier comparitively).
A bowl of rice can easily be shared with two people , if they are having an additional item along with this.

Pricing 

At 119 for the vegetarian variant,  and 139 for the non vegetarian version, this seems very reasonable. Not a pricing expert, but in my opinion a sub 100Rs pricing could have been an interesting price point to boost sales and would have encouraged more people to try this new item. With a burger costing around 60-70 , this is almost double the price and I'm curious to know if this segment is indeed price sensitive or not.
But overall, given the quantity, taste and quality, the 119 price is still a good value for money.

What could be better ?

The cheese layer could have been more to mix it with the whole bowl of rice underneath. Of course, clear instructions on mixing the layers could be given orally. A side of crisps or french fries would go very well with this as well and may as well be offered as a combo.

Here's a video of their new product launch



I was invited on behalf of McDonald's to try out their new product launch. However the review is unbiased and fully represents my personal opinion only.



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