So thanks to Rev. Canon Dr. Jon Ignatius Lumanog for tweeting me regarding my original blog post that Legal Sea Foods wasn’t the first to focus their national marketing on Lent and the meatless habits of Catholics in our country.
I should have known that good ol’ American institution — McDonald’s — has an even older fish story related to Lent.
In turns out that 23% of all Fish-O-Fillets sold annually are consumed during Lent season. Actually, the Fish-O-Fillet was originally created specifically for the 87% of McDonald’s customers who were Catholic — and thus observing the obligatory tradition of giving up meat for Friday meals during Lent.
What is interesting to me is that this seems like a typical bottom-dollar motivated story. But another read on it would be that when almost 90% of your audience consciously tries to avoid meat during meals during a month every year, coming up with a non-meat alternative on the menu could also be seen as serving your customers (no pun intended!).
The other thing is that McDonald’s doesn’t make a direct, explicit appeal to Catholics or the religious calendar with its Fish-O-Fillet. This seems a bit softer than the “get the most out of Lent” message from Legal Sea Foods we saw previously.
On the other hand, McDonald’s does ramp up its marketing for the meatless menu item during the Lent Season:
Apparently Catholics aren’t the only ones that enjoy Fish sandwiches on the McDonald’s menu since it is the only menu item that can be eaten at McDonald’s by people of some other faiths.
Is this like offering vegetarian options on a restaurant menu so that everyone who comes can enjoy something when you go?
So what do you think about all this? PLEASE share your own voice and leave a comment below.