NEW DELHI: McDonald's, the fast food specialist, is planning to heighten both its traditional advertising and social media activity in India this year.

The company currently operates more than 170 restaurants in the Asian nation, and serves an estimated 250,000 customers each day.

In adapting to the local market, McDonald's has introduced a range of new products, including an expanded vegetarian range and the Maharaja Mac, which is made with lamb or chicken rather than with beef.

Meanwhile, its latest ad campaign in the country is primarily focused on promoting its low-price menu options, which are available for as little as 20 rupees ($0.44; €0.32; £0.29).

Arvind Singhal, director of marketing for McDonald's local arm, argued the dual benefits of "quick service and affordable pricing" were becoming increasingly important given "today's hectic pace of life."

Looking forward, he said McDonald's will open 40 more outlets in the rapidly-developing market in 2010, and will also boost the communications support behind its McVeggi and McChicken meals.

"To market our new products and initiatives for consumers we look forward to spending across 50–60 crore rupees in 2010," Singhal continued.

Elsewhere, it has established a presence on social media sites platforms such as Facebook, which are growing in popularity among consumers and brands in the Asian nation.

"McDonald's India started it last year and we are looking at it very seriously," said Singhal.

"In a couple of months' time we will prepare a plan on how to use these media for marketing the brand more effectively."

Further efforts to meet the changing needs of its customers have included the launch of a trial home delivery service, which will initially be limited to 75 cities, but will allow people to order online.

This scheme has been promoted via a mobile marketing campaign, and may be rolled out further, depending on its initial performance.

Data sourced from Business Standard, Mydigitalfc, Images Food; additional content by Warc staff