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Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

SXSW SouthBites Is Back With Slow And Fast Food

McDonald's involvement in this year's SXSW SouthBites Interactive conference is turning heads.

SXSW's Interactive and Film conferences begin March 13.

SXSW 2015 kicks off this weekend, March 13, in Austin, Texas. What began as a music festival designed to showcase Austin to the world (and vice versa) has grown into a 10-day music, film and interactive conference held each spring.

SXSW Palate Primer

Back for a second year, SXSW’s SouthBites program “creates a platform for food artisans to connect and explore ways in which technology can be leveraged to transform the food industry.”

So what does that mean exactly?

There are several conference programs, including local and sustainable panels, craft foods and beer, and tech and food.

Three food-related podcasts will take place at SXSW, and industry events are sponsored by Vega Coffee, KitchenAid and GrubHub, among others.

I’m Lovin’ It At SXSW

It’s increasingly common to see big names at SXSW, but this year, the big-name corporate award goes to McDonald’s.

The fast-food giant has been injured by consistent profit decline and management switch-ups, and it’s looking to breathe some fresh air into the McDonald’s experience.

McDonald’s is hosting a pitch contest in the hopes of winning the hearts and stomachs of millennials. The categories include reinventing the restaurant experience, content creation and branding, and delivery and transportation.

Festival organizers recognize McDonald’s sponsorship at SXSW is turning some heads but count that as a sign the festival is “doing something right.”

SouthBites will run from Sunday, March 14 through March 16.

Read More:

  • SouthBites: Feed Your Mind (SXSW)
  • McPitch wanted: Ailing fast-food giant hosts SXSW contest to ‘reinvent the restaurant’ (Memphis Business Journal)
Liz Leslie

Liz Leslie is a journalist based in Chicago. When she's not writing about food, she's likely eating food. Or dreaming about food.

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