Defining glocalization

Glocalisation: The adaptation of a global product for a local market place. The word comes from an amalgamation of the words globalisation and localisation.

Globalisation: The spread of economic, cultural and social ideas across the world.

Localisation: The act of operating locally in terms of employees, product, supply of raw materials, etc.

The aim of nearly all companies is to maximise profits. Therefore TNCs glocalise their products in order to increase market share and increase profits. Other reasons why TNCs may glocalise include:
  • To meet health and safety regulations
  • To meet electrical requirements e.g. voltage, plug type
  • To meet local laws
  • To match availability of components, produce, etc.
  • To meet local customs and tastes e.g. no pork in a Muslim country or beef in an Hindu country
  • To meet socio-economic status of market place
  • To meet local climatic or terrain conditions
  • To match local languages and ideas of acceptability

Quick Restaurant - Halal Burgers (Glocalisation)

A French fast food restaurant has caused controversy by only selling halal meat (meat that conforms to Islamic requirements) in some of its restaurants. France has a large North African population (many of whom are Muslim) living in its big cities. As such the restaurant "Quick" has decided to adapt to the local market place (glocalise) and sell halal burgers. The first restaurant to sell halal meat opened in November 2009. Quick soon offered halal meat in a further 7 restaurants. All eight restaurants saw sales double and had to add 25% extra staff. Because of the success it announced plans to offer halal meat in a further 22 restaurants.

However, despite the companies success, Quick has come in for some criticism. The Mayor of Roubaix (one of the French towns with a halal restaurant) has complained saying that the restaurant is discriminating against non-Muslims (despite non-halal burgers being reheated and sold (although not prepared) at the restaurant). Others have called for boycotts of restaurants and filed complaints for discrimination.

France has the biggest Muslim minority in Europe, numbering nearly 5 million. Further to introducing halal burgers, Quick removed bacon burgers from nearly all of its restaurants (350) and replaced it with a turkey burger. Some have argued that this is an example of Islamification, others have argued that the protests against the changes are an example of Islamaphobia, while others may argue that it is just a case of glocalisation.

French fast food chain Quick sparks halal burger appeal - BBC article

Halal Burgers? Another French Brouhaha Over Islam - Time article

Halal burgers huge success in France - RFI article
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McDonalds (Glocalisation)

McDonalds is probably one of the best examples of how TNCs adapt their global brand and products to adapt to the local market place. Despite having nearly 70 million customers daily in over 30,000 restaurants in nearly 120 countries worldwide, it is constantly trying to expand and increase its market share. Below is a list of some ways that McDonald's has adapted its brand and products to increase its market share:

  • In Muslim countries pork has been removed from the menu
  • In Hindu countries beef has been removed from the menu
  • In Muslim countries halal food is used and in Jewish countries kosher food is used
  • Certain local festivals or customs maybe celebrated e.g. during Ramadan in Muslim countries, McDonald's will offer Iftar buffets at the breaking of fast.
  • The types of burgers/products are changed to local tastes e.g. McRice in Indonesia
  • The number of McCafe's have been increased in localities with a coffee culture or office workers in a hurry
  • The number of drive-thrus or playgrounds maybe increased in locations with a large numbers of car owners or children
  • In France, Ronald McDonald was replaced by Asterix as the company logo
  • In locations Antigua in Guatemala McDonald's has changed its store frontage to blend in with local architecture
  • Staff have different uniforms depending on local culture
  • Changing language of menus, signs, etc.
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How Ronald got le boot - BBC article

International availability of McDonald's products - Wikipedia

McDonald's opens vegetarian-only restaurant - BBC Article
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