The fast-food chain has dipped into its history to renew a partnership with one of the most-loved brands in American history.
McDonald’s has 10 iconic billion-dollar brands, according to Chief Executive Christopher Kempczinski.
Think products like the Big Mac, Chicken McNuggets, and Egg McMuffin.
These items have remained beloved by their fans while they’ve been copied by pretty much every fast-food chain. None of McDonald’s’ burger-chain rivals have even two products that meet this criterion. The list includes the Whopper at Restaurant Brands International’s Burger King and the Frosty at Wendy’s.
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You might be able to make an argument for Wendy’s Baconator and Burger King’s Croissan’wich, but even if you include those two, McDonald’s has a massive edge over its rivals. And the edge makes it easier for the No. 1 burger chain to lean heavily on its core menu.
McDonald’s does not need a lot of limited-time offers or gimmicks because people visit largely to taste their old favorites. That sets a high bar for new menu additions.
That’s not to say McDonald’s never adds new items — it occasionally does. But the chain is usually looking for its next billion-dollar idea, not a short-term sales burst.
And now the fast-food giant is bringing back a menu item that teams the chain with one of the most-loved snacks in the world.
McDonald’s Brings Back the Oreo Frappé
Aside from its seasonal Shamrock Shake, which comes back every year around St. Patrick’s Day, McDonald’s rarely changes its frozen-beverage lineup.
The chain’s Frappé line, however, falls under its McCafe line, not its shakes. That’s a subtle distinction as a Frappé is basically a knockoff of a Starbucks Frappuccino, which is essentially a shake, but the presence of crushed ice makes it something other than a shake.
And while they may not be shakes, Frappés and Frappuccinos certainly count as dessert. Now, for the first time in nearly eight years, McDonald’s is bringing back its Oreo Frappé, a decadent coffee drink that’s meant to be a dessert or an indulgent treat.
“The Oreo Frappé features the brand’s mocha coffee frappe base blended with crushed ice, Oreo cookie pieces, and cookies-and-cream syrup, and then hand-topped with whipped cream and even more Oreo cookie crumbs,” the Fast Food Post reported.
McDonald’s has not confirmed the return, but materials distributed to stores make clear that the Oreo Frappé will hit menus at participating locations on May 17. It remains unclear whether every location will participate.
One general manager also told Fast Food Post that “at some locations the frozen treat will also include a whole Oreo cookie, and it will even come with a little blue spoon so you can scoop it like ice cream.”
A medium Oreo Frappé has 570 calories.
An Alternative to the McFlurry
The Oreo Frappé, and really the Frappé line in general, gives McDonald’s an alternative to another product that integrates the Oreos, the McFlurry. That’s potentially important, given the well-earned reputation the chain has developed for its McFlurry machine being broken.
That problem is so large that a third-party website — McBroken.com — was created to track which restaurants had broken McFlurry machines. At last check some 10.4% of the chain’s McFlurry machines were down, with New York City leading the way with more than 20% of machines not working.
When you can actually get one, the McDonald’s McFlurry with Oreo Cookies (its official name) mixes vanilla soft serve with pieces of the iconic cookie. A regular-size Oreo McFlurry (as most people know the product) comes in at 510 calories.
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This story was originally published May 1, 2023, 11:05 AM.
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