You are using an outdated browser. For a faster, safer browsing experience, upgrade for free today.

McDonald’s unveil controversial plans for first vegetarian outlets





McDonald’s are to open their first purely vegetarian restaurants in India later this year. The meat-free incarnation of the globally recognised US Hamburger chain will open within 200 meters of The Golden Temple, the holiest site of the Sikh faith.

In addition to Amritsar, McDonald’s famed golden arches will be taking up residence near to the second busiest pilgrimage spot in India; in the foothills of the Vaishno Devi shrine in the small town of Katra. Around 8 million pilgrims pass through the latter annually, while the Golden Temple attracts tens of thousands of visitors a day from the global Sikh community.
 
The Golden Temple [image by estetika
 
McDonald’s are likely to face protests over their plans to open restaurants in two of India’s most revered religious centres and pilgrimage sites.

While McDonald’s, home to the Big Mac and universally associated with meat-induced fast-food, have never served beef in India since opening their in 1996 due to the obvious local sensibilities, they do sell lamb and chicken burgers, in addition to chicken nuggets, lamb sausage muffins and fish burgers. The new restaurants will be purely vegetarian having developed a new menu in an effort to win over a seemingly reticent and apparently untapped Indian consumer.

Rajesh Kumar Maini, a spokesman for McDonald’s in northern India, told AFP: “There is a big opportunity for vegetarian restaurants as many Indians are vegetarian.

“At the moment, India is still a very small market – we just have 271 restaurants in India, and across the world, we have nearly 33,000.”

While Vikram Bakshi, who manages McDonald's restaurants in east and north India, told the Economic Times: "We see a huge potential [for making money from vegetarian outlets] as, by nature, Indians are religious,"

The McVeggie, a patty of carrots, peas with potato; the McAloo Tikki, a deep fried patty of spicy mashed potatoes which already accounts for 25% of the company’s total sales; and the McSpicy Paneer, a patty of traditional Indian cheese, will form the core of the new 100% vegetarian menu on the controversial sites of the fast food giants' chosen locations.

The plans have already caused quite a stir with the Hindu nationalist group, Swadeshi Jagran Manch, lambasting the restaurants’ proposals as means to “deliberately humiliate Hindus”.

"It's an attempt not only to make money but also to deliberately humiliate Hindus," its national co-convener S Gurumurthy told The Daily Telegraph. "It is an organisation associated with cow slaughter. If we make an announcement that they're slaughtering cows, people won't eat there. We are definitely going to fight it."

In India the menu is already 50% vegetarian which is a significantly larger percentage than in any other country and its local stores have become largely unrecognisable from their Western outlets, even if McDonald’s have made concessions, albeit of a different nature, in other countries before. In France, for example, you can enjoy Le Big Mac with wine and the company also runs an annual promotion called Le Saga du Fromage, where instead of the usual cheddar, burgers are topped with beloved French cheeses such as Reblochon. In Italy, pasta can be used as a substitute for fries.

Other global chains such as sandwich giant Subway and pizza brand Domino's have also taken measures to adhere to India’s vegetarian sensibilities. Subway, which last year surpassed McDonald's as the world's largest restaurant chain, opened its first vegetarian-only outlet at Amity University at Noida last year, and have subsequently followed up that venture with another in Mumbai two months ago, with a further four planned.

McDonald's serve 69 million customers in their 33,000 outlets acorss 119 countries per day. 
 
Main image by ChicagoGeek 
 
 

07.08.14

Sauvignon Blanc Wine Guide


Sauvignon Blanc is responsible for some of the world’s most popular, distinctive and dry white wines such as Sancerre and Pouilly- Fumé in France, and a plethora of superb versions from the New World, particularly in New Zealand. Frequently blended with Semillon, the Sauvignon Blanc grape will add a zesty, vibrant and often acidic verve to great dry and sweet white wines. DNA fingerprinting in 1997 established that, alongside Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc was a parent of Cabernet Sauvignon and there are some aromatic similarities.
21.07.14

English Wine Sparkles


The prophetic poetry of William Blake has never been more apt following the plethora of gold medals that rained down on England’s vineyards at the 2014 International Wine Challenge in May. The soils in England’s southern counties of Sussex, Kent and Cornwall are alive with Blake’s sentiment after five sparkling wines were garlanded with the highest honour at the ‘Oscars of the Wine Trade’, further cementing England’s flourishing winemaking reputation at home and abroad. As our vineyards celebrate a bumper 2013 harvest we take a look at some of our finest and most critically-acclaimed producers…
02.07.14

What I've Learned…Bar Boulud's Head Sommelier David Vareille


The Head Sommelier at Bar Boulud at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park London, David Vareille, reflects on the art of being a great sommelier, grumpy winemakers, and his desert island wine...



07.08.13

Self-chilling wine glasses

New self-chilling wine glass has been released that are capable of bringing your wine to the perfect temperature within minutes. read more


08.03.13

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie enter the winemaking industry

Hollywood power couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are to produce wines from their French chateau in southern France according to Decanter.  read more


13.02.13

Beer belly myth debunked by scientific study

According to a recent study there is no scientific evidence that supports the commonly held belief that beer causes weight gain. The report “Beer & calories: a scientific review”, intimates that the beer belly is a myth and that the ... read more


18.01.13

Beautiful bespoke wine racks

A young artist has combined her love of animals with her skills as a sculptress to create individually commissioned wine racks.  read more


19.10.12

Kent’s vineyards rue hostile weather as 2012 vintage suffers

England’s premier wine growing region Kent has suffered at the hands of the hostile weather this year, with one winery following Nyetimber’s recent example by deciding not to harvest its grapes and another predicting losses of nearly ... read more


18.10.12

Study unearths formula for the perfect pint

A chain of traditional British pubs have released the secret to the perfect pint, after conducting research to find out the optimum conditions their punters look for to enjoy their ales. read more


18.10.12

Beautiful Tea and Alcohol ink portraits by Carne Griffiths

A British artist has come up with a novel way of creating beautiful portraits by using vodka, whiskey, brandy and tea as his primary medium. Carne Griffiths’ drawings focus “on the creation and manipulation of the drawn line” but does so ... read more


16.10.12

BevShots: The beautiful photographs of alcohol

A research scientist from Florida State University named Michael Davidson has shone a new light on alcoholic beverages by photographing cocktails through a microscopic lens. The results are breathtakingly beautiful. read more


14.09.12

Pinot Noir induced pigs thrive over vodka persuaded counterparts

While by no means a major breakthrough for heavy drinkers, new research suggests pinot noir - a light to medium-bodied red wine – has better health benefits than vodka. read more


07.09.12

Swedish company release wine handbags for women on the go

Following recent reports that suggested wine in cartons is set to become a successful niche in the UK, a Swedish company have gone a step further by releasing containers shaped like women’s handbags.  read more


07.09.12

Seven Deadly Glasses by Kacper Hamilton

While by no means new, CellarVie Wines could only marvel at the creative brilliance of London-based designer Kacper Hamilton and his marvellous ‘Seven Deadly Glasses’. Whilst floating aimlessly on the worldwide web during our lunch hour ... read more


04.09.12

Do you want fries with that? Giant cheeseburger breaks record

The Black Bear Casino Resort near Carlton, Minnesota has broken a Guinness World Record for the largest bacon cheeseburger ever made.  read more


03.09.12

James Bond and Bollinger continue their flirtations

To coincide with the October release of Skyfall, the 23rd instalment of the Bond series on screen, starring Daniel Craig in his third outing and directed by Oscar winner Sam Mendes, Bollinger have unveiled their latest James Bond special ... read more


03.09.12

Shape of things to come: Curved beer glass speeds up drinking

Researchers claim consumers drink beer almost twice as quickly if it is served in a fashionable curved beer class rather than a traditional 12 fl oz straight glass. It took on average nearly 12 minutes for participants to down a little ... read more


20.08.12

South Africa: An introduction to the wine region

As a wine growing region in the world, South Africa is often positioned right in the middle of the Old and the New World due to its long and varied heritage and obviously because of its central location.  read more


20.08.12

700 glasses of wine a day…is good for balance?

According to new research a compound found in red wine could help improve balance, but sadly for those looking for better levels of stability, the 700 glasses needed a day to achieve the effect would almost certainly lead to anything but ... read more


17.08.12

Struth! World's most expensive bottle of wine goes on sale for £120,000

One of the world’s most expensive bottles of wine will go on sale in London today with the special-edition 2004 Block 42’ Cabernet Sauvignon boasting a price-tag of £120,000.  read more


17.08.12

Government warned against proposed minimum alcohol price

The Office of Fair Trading has warned the government against pressing ahead with their plans for a minimum price for alcohol, claiming the new legislation could encourage retailers to sell more, rather than less booze. read more


17.08.12

Weighty wine tome set for publication

A comprehensive 1,200 page guide to the world’s wine grape varieties is set to be published this autumn.  read more


16.08.12

Wine made from tomatoes to ketchup with rivals

Wine lovers in Canada have been indulging in an unusual vintage courtesy of a 1930s Belgian recipe made using tomatoes.  read more


15.08.12

Beautiful wine stain solutions by artist Amelia Fais Harnas

There are countless old wives tales about the best ways to conceal or clean those pesky wine stains but none of them are as creative or as beautiful as the stunning wine stain portraits created by artist Amelia Fais Harnas.  read more


13.08.12

The Famous Grouse trumps Jack Daniels in largest bottle bid

The Famous Grouse has surpassed Jack Daniels in their bid to produce the world’s largest bottle of whisky after their 228-litre effort was awarded the Guinness World Record on Sunday, amid the brand’s 107th birthday celebrations.   read more


08.08.12

EU organic wine legislation not 'strict enough'

The European Union's first rules governing organic wine production have been deemed not ‘strict enough’ following their passing on August 1.  read more


07.08.12

Giant 53-metre long Mexican sandwich falls shy of world record

Local authorities and 55 local businesses in Mexico City recently prepared a 173 ft long sandwich in a bid to give the nutritious Mexican ‘torta’ a much-needed boost in sales as it struggles to compete with imported fast food chains. read more


07.08.12

Wasps crucial to wine and beer fermentation

A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that the humble wasp and their more aggressive cousin the hornet, carry yeast that is responsible for the fermentation of wine, beer and bread. read more


07.08.12

Moderate wine drinking ‘as good as drugs’ in battle against osteoporosis

According to a recent study by researchers at the University of Oregon, one or two glasses of wine a day could be as effective as drugs in the protection against thinning bones in post-menopausal women. read more


30.07.12

Study claims ‘holding wine can selectively reduce perceived intelligence’

According to new research from the universities of Michigan and Pennsylvania, holding a glass of wine at a party might lead to your boss and colleagues making negative assumptions about your brain power, in what researches have described ... read more


25.07.12

David Lynch reveals 'The Power of Creation' Dom Perignon design

Revered Hollywood filmmaker David Lynch has unveiled his new limited-edition design for Dom Perignon.   read more


24.07.12

Champagne sales lose their fizz as austerity bites

In this encouraged age of austerity it’s not surprising that Britain is feeling the pinch after it emerged that sales of sparkling wine will overtake those of Champagne for the first time ever this year. Sales figures for Champagne ... read more


20.07.12

The stunning wine cork portraits by artist Scott Gundersen

While aimlessly procrastinating on the simply brilliant Colossal website during our lunch hour, the CellarVie Wines team happened to stumble upon the stunningly beautiful wine inspired portraits by Grand Rapids-based illustrator and ... read more


19.07.12

Gargantuan Chinese wine bottle tops scales at three tons

The Chinese wine market has long been identified as the most profitable and rapidly upcoming domain in the industry. Consumption and understanding is on the rise and imported volumes have grown nearly six-fold over the past five years. ... read more


18.07.12

IKEA unveil their own beer brand

Swedish furniture giants IKEA have launched their own brand of beer to presumably compliment their easy-to-assemble and well-developed design aesthetics, sterile looking home décor and all-you-can-eat meatball buffets. read more


18.07.12

Merlot can rest easy as ‘no-brainer’ Sideways sequel is a ‘non-starter’

“Brilliantly observed characters with uniformly terrific performances; this is wonderful, original stuff." So said Empire Magazine in their five star review of Alexander Payne’s critically acclaimed film, Sideways, which grossed well ... read more


18.07.12

'For relaxing times' get your "Rocks Off" on Suntory's Rolling Stones Whiskey

As part of the well-documented 50th anniversary celebrations of the Rolling Stones’ first gig at London's Marquee Club on July 12th, 1962, Japanese distillery Suntory will release a limited edition blended whiskey to commemorate the ... read more


17.07.12

French bite back over Foie Gras ban as MP calls for Californian wine boycott

A French MP has urged restaurants in France to boycott the selling of Californian wines after the US state banned the sale of foie gras on 1 July.  read more


13.07.12

Manchester United boss reveals wine induced Premier League title tonic

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson’s fondness for vintage red wine is well known. As is his willingness to share a glass or two with opposition managers in the aftermath of victory or defeat at Old Trafford, and the Scot ... read more


12.07.12

French cows reared on fine wine set to rival Kobe beef

Some of the best restaurants in Paris are championing a new ‘Vinbovin’ label that is endeavouring to produce some of the finest meat in Europe by feeding cows up to two bottles of high quality wine every day.   read more



Post a comment...