Have you tried the McDonald's new limited time offer menu item, the blueberry crumble sundae? Well I have. In fact, I went out and bought one after a colleague showed me the advertisement that said, "made with Canadian wild blueberries." As an ice cream addict and proud supporter of "local" defined for me as Canadian foods, I had to try it. And it was good, so good in fact that I became curious about the sourcing story behind it.
My roots are in the beef cattle industry and I am familiar with the sourcing story behind McDonald's beef and their commitment to 100% Canadian beef for their Canadian restaurants. I reached out to McDonald's for comment about the blueberry crumble sundae and this is what they had to say.
The wild Canadian blueberries used in the sundae are sourced from PEI, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick using a local supplier, Wyman's in PEI.
"We purchased over 5 truckloads (approximately 198,000 lbs) of raw wild Canadian blueberries to support the initial launch of this limited-time-offer product," said Nikki Zamparo, food and packaging sourcing manager, new foods, McDonald’s Canada.
One of the biggest challenges to source the wild berries is seasonality. "We partnered very closely with our suppliers to focus on timelines and ensure that we had the best possible product ready to support a national launch," she said.
"We are always exploring new ways to source Canadian ingredients for new menu items," she said when asked if McDonald's anticipates using other Canadian grown fruit in menu options in the future.
Zamparo says that supporting Canadian farmers is a priority for their business. "We take pride in knowing we can source our food locally throughout Canada while ensuring a superior taste experience for our guests," she said.
The Blueberry Crumble Sundae launched in select McDonald’s restaurants nationwide on July 25th and is available until September 18th (or while supplies last).