1999 McDonald’s launches McOz

The truly Australian touch in this burger was the addition of beetroot. The McOz consisted of a burger patty with beetroot, lettuce, tomato, onion, Cheddar cheese, ketchup and mustard. It was discontinued in 2008, then reintroduced for a limited time in 2011. In New Zealand, it’s called a Kiwiburger and includes an egg. The McOz is a promotional item, appearing for a short time only.

The McOz was an example of McDonald’s adapting their menu to suit local tastes. When the chain was launched in Australia, menu items included Fish ‘n’ Chips and Chicken Dinners – concepts that would be familiar to locals.

It’s not just in Australia that McDonald’s caters to local food traditions or events. In Japan, the menu includes many items you’d never find elsewhere. For example, in the sakura (cherry blossom) season, there’s the Sakura Teritama Burger, which comes in a pink bun and contains a pink ginger teriyaki pork patty, fried egg and special sakura sauce.

Photo Credit: Achim Hepp via Flickr cc

In Europe, too, the menu varies from country to country. In France, there’s a huge range of breakfast pastries. In Romania, you can enjoy a pork sandwich with horseradish sauce. In Spain, there’s packaged Gazpacho while in Greece the Greek Mac has all the ingredients of a Big Mac but, instead of a bun, it’s wrapped in pitta bread. And, in some places, you can even get a beer.

It seems the McOz wasn’t popular enough to earn a place on the regular menu in Australia. It was replaced with the McFeast, which Macca’s describe as “a juicy beef patty, cheese, tomato, lettuce, pickles, three sauces all on a classic sesame seed bun”.

The McOz was briefly revived as a lunchtime special in 2018 as part of the $5 small meal deal.  It seems that Australian die-hards who like a slice of beetroot on their burger will, most of the time, have to look elsewhere.

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