Even if McDonald’s Canada’s transparency campaign achieves nothing else, the sheer amount of viral momentum behind it has made it a pretty glowing success. The campaign first caught media attention with its video detailing the ways in which a burger gets gussied up for an advertising photo shoot. This week that amiable transparency has continued as Dan Coudreaut, Executive Chef at McDonald’s Canada, explains how you can recreate the fabled Big Mac special sauce in the comfort of your own kitchen.
The whole premise of the campaign Our Food Your Questions is simply that Canadian fans (and critics) can ask questions and the brand will answer them with a statement or a video or an infographic or the like. Christine H. from Oshawa, Ontario, posed the question: “what is in the sauce that is in the Big Mac?”
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Rather than respond with a list of ingredients, McDonald’s Canada passes the mic to Coudreaut who frames the question as “how could you make a Big Mac at home?” It’s a clever marketing maneuver on McDonald’s part, as it skates around some of the less delicious-sounding ingredients in the store-bought version (ie: preservatives and thickening agents) while still answering the question in a way that catches viewers’ attention and explains what makes the sauce taste the way it does.
As Coudreaut points out, Big Mac recipes have been available through word of mouth and on the internet for years – “not really a secret,” he notes – but it’s always one thing to hear it from a friend or mysterious internet source and quite another to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth. Straightaway Coudreaut breaks down the ingredients:
- Sweet pickle relish
- Yellow mustard
- White wine vinegar
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
So everyone who always assumed that Big Mac sauce is just Thousand Island dressing is sort of right, but not really – whereas Thousand Island dressing has a base of mayonnaise and ketchup, Big Mac special sauce has a base of mayonnaise and mustard, and there are a couple other differences as well.
Oh sure, Coudreaut goes through the entire Big Mac-building experience. But the other core ingredients like beef patties and a bun have always been pretty easy to suss out. It’s the sauce that always keeps people up at night wondering, especially those of us who like to recreate our favorite chain restaurant items at home. So if you didn’t know: now you know.