McDonald’s Can’t Use The Word “Artisan” To Describe Limited-Edition Burger In Ireland



In a world where marketers are constantly trying to catch the attention of shoppers with products that are seen as fresh, wholesome and healthy, there are some words that perhaps used to mean something more to people than they used to. Like “artisan” — in the past, this would’ve meant a skilled worker spending time and great effort on making something. Now, that could just mean more premium ingredients on your fast food burger. But in Ireland, it’s not so easy to use such words lightly, as McDonald’s recently found out with its first attempt at an “artisan” Irish burger.

McDonald’s was using the word to herald the arrival of its limited-edition special burger, the McMór, reports The Irish Times, calling it a “tribute to the best produce and finest flavours from across Ireland.” The burger is made with Ballymaloe relish, Charleville cheddar and a “potato-flaked bun” layered with shredded cabbage atop beef and bacon.

Ireland’s food authorities have rules on what can be dubbed artisan, however: under Food Safety Authority of Ireland guidelines published earlier this summer, the term artisan only applies if the product is made in limited quantities by skilled craftspeople, the processing method isn’t totally mechanized and it should use food grown or produced locally “where seasonally available and practical.”

McDonald’s has now agreed to not use the term in connection to the McMór.

“The usage of the term artisan is, as we are now aware, inaccurate in so far as it is in breach of some of the recently launched, voluntary guidelines around the usage of the term in the marketing of food,” McDonald’s said in a statement. “This specific term will no longer be used in any news release around the limited-edition McMór.”

Would McDonald’s be in legal trouble if it refused to drop “artisan” from the burger’s description? Probably not, as these are voluntary guidelines. But if it wants to maintain a good relationship with Irish food authorities, it behooves them to comply.

McDonald’s ‘artisan’ burger fails to cut mustard with authority [The Irish Times]

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