Can I Has Kiwiburger?

You know you want it and here it is. The New Zealand McDonald’s update.

Any discussion of New Zealand McDonald’s has to start with the Kiwiburger.

The slogan for the Kiwiburger is “Kiwiburger: That’s Our Tucker”.

I have no clue what that means. I guess it is some sort of Kiwi slang that is supposed to endear people to “their” native burger.

The Kiwiburger itself is a burger with two special ingredients: egg and beet. Why those two things are special to NZ is beyond me. I’d think a much more local thing would be a burger made out of lamb or mutton, but I guess not.

How did it taste? Surprisingly, not bad. Once you realize that every breakfast sandwich and omelet combines egg and meat, it really isn’t a stretch to put and egg on a burger. Likewise, the beet wasn’t bad. It added a sort of sweetness to the burger. I thought it would be terrible, but it wasn’t at all. I could certainly see adding an egg to burgers in the future.

What else about NZ McDonald’s?

All over NZ, almost every McDonald’s I saw had a McCafe attached. It’s their answer to Starbucks. They sell higher grade coffee and espresso as well as pastries and other baked goods. One McDonald’s in Wanganui had internet terminals too.

Likewise, the menu in most places had more deli type sandwiches and fewer burger options, although the traditional chicken sandwich, fish sandwich and chicken nuggets were everywhere.

All stores also had special deals for after 5pm where you could get value meals for 2-4 people. You could get a family mean for NZ$20 which you got 4 burgers, 4 fries, 4 drinks and 4 sundaes. It was actually a good deal.

The breakfast menu had a BLT bagel, which at ate on two occasions. It is just as it sounds and is really good. I’m very pro-BLT.

I got a brochure at a McDonald’s and read about the ingredients they use. All meat and eggs come from New Zealand. 95% of produce also is local. The only thing that didn’t appear to be grown locally were potatoes.

I noticed the same thing when I was in the UK. The McDonald’s touted all their local food. I thought hard about why they would do that, figuring there has to be a better reason than just good publicity. I think in the end it has to do with cost. Shipping meat and produce from far away just costs more. I’ll be interested to see where nations without a lot of ranching get their meat from.