Fonterra to supply McDonald’s with premium pastries

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 22nd April 2009

Fonterra’s The Pastryhouse business will begin supplying premium pastries to McDonald’s McCafés across Australia and New Zealand this month as the fast-food giant looks to capture a greater slice of the market.

The move is an extension on a 25-year relationship, which has seen them work together to create dairy-based products for McDonald’s in 30 markets worldwide. Currently, they supply McDonald’s with slice-on-slice cheese in 25 markets in the Asia Pacific Middle East and Africa region, as well as milk, yoghurt, parmesan, cheddar, butter and shake and sundae mix to its Australian business.

“Fonterra will, in conjunction with McDonald’s supply chain partners, Fresh Start Bakeries (Australia) and North’s Bun Company Ltd (New Zealand), supply 470 McCafés in Australia and 50 McCafés in New Zealand with great tasting sweet and savoury pastries, and to meet these increased volumes, we have increased The Pastryhouse’s production capabilities and moved to a 24 hour production cycle,” René Dedoncker, Global Director Fonterra Foodservices, said. “Over the past few months, we’ve been gearing up to cope with the increased demand, including hiring an additional 30 people at our manufacturing site.”

The PastryHouse, in Wiri, New Zealand, was established in 1983 and today, under the direction of Philippe Bourgeais, Bakery Technical Manager and Pastry Chef, produces around 30 pastry varieties.

“This project has been almost three years in the making and involved a significant amount of consultation to ensure we created a great tasting product, suited to McDonald’s business and most importantly its customers,” Mr Dedoncker advised.

“McDonald’s, like Fonterra, is a consumer-led business, with the customer at the heart of its business. As such, their consumer research helped determine what pastries appealed to McCafé customers at different times of the day, and these insights helped drive and shape our innovation process,” he added. “Fonterra’s chefs and food technologists worked closely with McDonald’s to fine tune the pastries to meet McDonald’s desired flavour profile and formats, such as adding a little more cinnamon or caramel to the recipe.”

McDonald’s has been one of the few beneficiaries of the downturn, with their customer base growing worldwide as the convenience and low cost of their food draws in time-poor and financially stricken consumers. The company reported earlier this year that Australia was one of the shining lights in their Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa division as they continue to expand their menu to attract a more diverse customer base.

And pastries are not the only change customers are likely to see at McDonald’s in Australia, with fashion icon Peter Morrissey – famous for the Morrissey clothing brand and designer of the Qantas uniforms – set to design new uniforms for their employees.