The MacDonald's franchise has had a major effect on the beef-raising and the potato-growing industries for quite some time. One might not think so from one view point because it only consumes about 4.1 % of the beef and 2.2% of the potatoes grown. It's because of their picky specifications and standards as to exactly what kind of beef and what kind of potatoes that have such a huge effect on the market. With the new health kick especially around the U.S., MacDonald's has taken a big step into the fresh produce market and plans on buying hundreds of millions of pounds in this area. The company plans on buying 135 million apples during this year alone (making it the #1 apple buyer in the world). As far as lettuce goes, the plan is 116 million pounds along with 50 million pounds of grape tomatoes http://www.oligopolywatch.com/. The prediction is that small farmers will still be overlooked being as that MacDonald's is likely to reduce the suppliers to only a few and will certainly demand for more standardization. Will the rest of the fast food market follow? Will America become more healthy with all of these food alternatives? Certainly demand is going up.
Posted by Fred at 2/28/2005 05:28:00 PM