Oct 13, 2013

Around the World: McDonald's New Zealand Offers Georgie Pies

McDonald's is reviving a New Zealand fast food brand and getting into the meat pie business by offering Georgie Pies brand meat pies at select locations in the country.

The Georgie Pie brand was considered New Zealand's own homegrown alternative to American chains like McDonald's, Burger King, and the like and was bought by McDonald's in 1996 (largely for real estate which was converted into McDonald's restaurants).

The move is a risky one for McDonald's as New Zealanders can easily perceive it as an attempt to exploit and bastardize a beloved local brand if not done correctly. However, the company reports that sales of the pies thus far have exceeded expectations.

McDonald's has launched only one variety of pie thus far: the Steak Mince 'N' Cheese Pie, which features a short pastry crust (ideal for eating on the go for the handheld pies), minced locally raised beef, and melted cheese. The pies sell for $4.50 NZ ($3.74 US) each and are baked at each location daily.

The plan is to expand sales of Georgie Pies to over 100 of 161 McDonald's restaurants in the country by Christmas and to introduce two new flavors in 2014.

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