The fast-food giant has a handful of iconic products and it’s using one of its most-loved menu items in an entirely new way.
McDonald’s has actually leaned away from some of its history in recent years.
The McDonaldland characters have mostly been retired, aside from their use in adult Happy Meals and a brief live-action return of the Hamburglar in a series of commercials.
Ronald McDonald still appears on behalf of the chain’s charitable efforts, but he’s no longer seen as a spokesclown for the chain.
McDonald’s has, however, leveraged its history when it comes to its menu. Most significantly it has been willing to carefully use its iconic Big Mac to launch new products. That started with having different size Macs, and it has grown into the Chicken Big Mac, which was launched last year.
Now, the fast-food giant again plans to build on its iconic burger, but in a unique way.
McDonald’s Takes Special Sauce Someplace New
You can’t have a Big Mac without Special Sauce. It’s right in the famous jingle.
“Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun,” the chain offered up in a commercial from 1975.
The unique part of the offering was, of course, the “Special Sauce.” Never mind that “Special Sauce” is just a take on thousand island dressing made with French dressing instead of ketchup, the sauce has been a beloved fan favorite since the 1970s.
Now, McDonald’s Canada has done something very different with Special Sauce, bringing it beyond the Big Mac. It’s a very interesting move for the chain, which in recent years has been willing to make small but meaningful menu moves instead of rolling out entirely new products.
The fast-food chain is selling Special Sauce in dip-cup form, making it available for people who want to dip their Chicken McNuggets or French fries in it.
“Unlike the brand’s traditional dipping sauces, which are typically available free with the purchase menu items like Chicken McNuggets, Big Mac Sauce in dip-cup form is listed as a condiment on the McDonald’s Canada website and is priced at 30 cents per dip cup,” Chew Boom reported.
This Move Fits McDonald’s Plans
While rivals including Wendy’s (WEN) – Get Free Report, Restaurant Brands International’s (QSR) – Get Free Report Burger King and Yum Brands’ (YUM) – Get Free Report Taco Bell have tried lots of limited-time-offers and new menu items, McDonald’s has largely kept its promotions digital. Basically, McDonald’s has focused its efforts on growing the use of its app and digital-ordering channels.
The chain did, however, bring back its iconic Szechuan Sauce in March 2022, a promotion that got enormous media attention. That promotion gave only those customers who placed orders via the chain’s app a chance to claim a packet of the popular sauce.
McDonald’s very likely could use Special Sauce dip cups the same way in the U.S. That type of promotion would fit with Chief Executive Christopher Kempczinski’s comments, made during the chain’s fourth-quarter-earnings call, about leveraging core menu items.
“Throughout 2022, some of our most successful campaign platforms brought our customers closer to the core menu items they love,” he said.
“The strength of our brand goes beyond the Golden Arches themselves and includes our iconic products such as our world-famous French Fries, the Big Mac or Chicken McNuggets, and the McFlurry.
“Each of these products are billion-dollar brands and in total, McDonald’s possesses 10 of these billion-dollar brand equities. In an environment where our customers are looking for the simple and familiar, our core menu items have never been more relevant or beloved.”.
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This story was originally published February 9, 2023, 1:24 PM.
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