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Product Design Applied in Decision-Making at McDonald's

1) How is product design applied in decision-making at McDonald's?
2) Describe a Product Life Cycles at McDonald's?
3) How are different Issues for Product Development applied at McDonald's?

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1) How is product design applied in decision-making at McDonald's?

"Product Design can be defined as the idea generation, concept development, testing and manufacturing or implementation of a physical object or service. Product designers are equipped with the skills needed to bring products from conception to market. They should also have the ability to manage design projects, and subcontract areas to other sectors of the design industry. Many product designers are strategic assets to companies that need to maintain a competitive edge in innovation (Wikipedia.com, n.d.)".

Product design is applied in decision-making at McDonald's in every aspect of their food production. The company uses what is called "food product designers" or food scientists, similar to the fashion industry, which has "clothing designers". Food Product Design.com (2004) references that designing new products for targeted consumer segments requires common sense, marketing savvy, knowledge, skill, art, science -- and an ability to predict the future. Companies [like McDonalds] often turn to a team of professionals to help them outwit the competition. That team may include psychometricians, modelers, ethnographers, qualitative and quantitative researchers with specialized areas of expertise, marketing managers, market researchers, and ingredient and flavor/fragrance suppliers. No matter how many professionals are involved, the consumer is still in charge, defining the rules of the game by who they are, what they want and how they want it. That's why understanding -- and designing for -- demographics is such an essential step in product development.

For example, McDonald's pioneered the first quick-serve breakfast sandwich, served on an English muffin, and continued with many other quick breakfast options developed by their scientists. Today's quick breakfasts cover a wide variety of flour-based foods (bagels, biscuits, croissants, muffins, pancakes, waffles, donuts, Danish pastries and cinnamon rolls), eggs, and meats. The secret to success is finding the right combination of ingredients, which is where McDonalds applies product design in decision-making.

"Developing shelf-life parameters for single baked goods is almost child's play for an experienced food scientist compared to the complexity of frozen breakfast entrees and breakfast sandwiches.

Freezing is often the first choice for maintaining quality attributes of quick breakfast foods. It decreases the staling rate of baked goods compared to room temperature or frozen storage. Freezing also prevents further growth of microbes, although only insignificant levels of microbes are killed due to freezing, so GMPs are still very necessary. The tendency of fats to undergo oxidative rancidity is reduced due to low temperature and low light. Flavor transfer from ingredient to ingredient in entree packages is also reduced.


Solution Summary

1700+ words on production design and product life cycles in McDonalds.