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McDonalds Case Study on Creating a New Language of Nutrition


Monday, 25 June, 2007

McDonald's Case Study on "Creating a New Language of Nutrition" Covers Cultural Analysis for Nutrition Icons Used in Over 109 Locales

BOULDER, CO -- McDonald's and ENLASO Corporation, a provider of translation and localization solutions, have released a ground breaking case study on how icons, designed to represent nutritional information, were culturally evaluated for worldwide use. McDonald's decided to take its Nutritional Initiative to all of its markets by visually representing nutritional information on food packaging globally. The main challenge was developing icons or images that would work with or without language, in over 109 locales. This case study covers how ENLASO's linguistic iconographers determined which images would work in all regions without offending local cultural sensitivities. McDonald's is making the final nutritional icons freely available to the food and restaurant industries worldwide, hoping to help set a standard for visually conveying nutritional information.

Feedback from iconographers was often surprising and sometimes even amusing. An image of a bone to represent calcium was rejected due to its regional association with dogs, while a simple abstract image of a four-leaved plant, symbolizing fiber, was interpreted as everything from a Christmas tree to Marijuana!

Case study author, Maxwell Hoffmann, was impressed by the synergy between McDonald's and ENLASO. "All of the McDonald's and ENLASO staff I interviewed were enthusiastically committed to a single goal: to educate customers globally on nutrition in a totally visual way." The nutritional icons will prove their worth on a broad playing field: McDonald's serves over 50 million people a day worldwide.

McDonald's began rolling out the new icons on packaging in several worldwide markets last year, including the USA. The next time you order a Big Mac, take a look at the bottom of the carton and notice the new icons for Calories, Protein, Fat, Carbohydrates and Sodium. This free case study, with rejected and accepted versions of the icons, can be downloaded from ENLASO's Web site, www.translate.com.

About McDonald's ( http://www.mcdonalds.com)
McDonald's is the leading global foodservice retailer with more than 30,000 local restaurants in more than 100 countries. More than 70% of McDonald's restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent local men and women. Please visit www.mcdonalds.com to learn more about the Company.

About ENLASO ( http://www.translate.com)
ENLASO Corporation, an ISO 9001 company with three decades of experience, provides clients with enterprise language solutions. ENLASO delivers multilingual solutions to a broad range of industries and services including software localization, Web sites, marketing communications, technical documentation, localization testing, and cultural consulting.

For additional information, contact: Yves Lang, ENLASO Corporation, at (303) 516-0857 x102 or by e-mail at [email protected]

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