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McDonald's tries to tempt the French with 'McBaguette'

US fast food giant McDonald's said Tuesday that it will introduce a "McBaguette" sandwich at its 1,230 French branches in an attempt to cater to local tastes. The McBaguette will begin a six-week test launch on April 18.


AFP - The French branch of US fast food giant McDonald's said Tuesday it was to introduce a "McBaguette" sandwich in a bid to cater to local tastes.

Often derided in food-mad France for its mass-production approach, the chain has worked to adapt with sandwiches featuring local ingredients such as goat's cheese and pepper sauce, alongside its traditional burgers and chips.

The McBaguette will be launched as a test product on April 18 for six weeks in the chain's 1,230 French restaurants, Nawfal Trabelsi, McDonald's France's vice president for marketing, told journalists.

"It's a crispy baguette, served hot, with beef, a slightly strong whole grain mustard sauce and ripe Emmental cheese," Trabelsi said, adding that the product was of "symbolic importance" and part of the company's efforts at local "integration".

After long resisting the lure of fast food, French consumers have increasingly turned to chain restaurants in recent years, with the fast food market growing from about 20 billion euros ($26 billion) in 2004 to nearly 33 billion euros last year.

McDonald's has done particularly well, growing to 63,000 employees since opening its first French branch in 1979 and with pre-tax turnover last year of 4.2 billion euros.

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