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Thu, 06 Sep 2012 12:28:31 GMT | By Jason Buckland, MSN Money
Big gambles by well-known companies

From a grocery chain with a banking division to a chocolate company selling insurance, these companies have entered some interesting markets.



From a grocery chain with a banking division to a chocolate company selling insurance, these companies have entered some interesting markets.
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McDonald's, the granddaddy of all burger joints, the restaurant that serves some 30 million kilograms of beef each year in Canada alone, is going veg. Earlier this month, the restaurant announced it will soon open two vegetarian-only locations in India, a market where most people are Hindus. For Hindus, cows are sacred, eating them unmentionable.

Now, don't go weeping for the carnivore just yet. While McDonald's' veggie initiative could be the start of something new, it's still a new initiative for the fast food biz and a gamble for the American chain. But, then, big companies like Mickey D's have stepped out of their comfort zones before. From a sports car maker releasing an SUV to a furniture store planning its own line of hotels, here's what happens when well-known companies enter a new space in business.

* All figures in USD.

* Bing: What restaurant (not McDonald's) is the largest fast food chain in the world?

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