Fast-food chains want to find that elusive new menu item that gets people talking, becomes a social media sensation, and eventually sells out, making its eventual return an even bigger event. That’s why Restaurants Brands International (RSQ) – Get the report from Restaurant Brands International Inc. Burger King tries so many wacky Whoppers, as well as more traditional twists on the classic sandwich.
Yum! Brands (YUM) – Get yum! Report Brands Inc. Taco Bell has been the leader in this space by regularly adding menu items that push the boundaries. It may not seem so new to use a Doritos-based taco shell, but back then it was and the Doritos Locos Taco became a huge hit that led to countless spin-offs. It has also led to snack chip mixes becoming a thing with Burget King offering Mac N’ Cheetos, a fried version of Maccaroni and cheese, and Taco Bell itself recently trialling two products using variations of the Cheez. -It.
Starbucks (SEX) – Get the Starbucks Corporation report also spent some time after his Unicorn Frappuccino became a surprise hit in pursuit of wacky is a better strategy. This ultimately seemed to make its new drinks less special, and the chain never captured the viral success of its multicolored frozen drink, so it actually toned down its new release schedule.
McDonald’s (MCD) – Get the McDonald’s Corporation report, however, has generally been more conservative when it comes to its menu. The chain, which was built on achieving a limited menu, has generally stayed true to the model. Sure, it has some weird outliers like the McRib, but in general, McDonald’s limited-time offers remain variations of a burger with maybe some new toppings.
Now the chain has shaken up its dessert menu in one part of the world with a product that has the potential to be a global hit.
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McDonald’s adds a new pie, McFlurry
Over the years, McDonald’s has kept its dessert menu very focused. It offers its Apple Pie heart, ice cream cones, shakes, very basic sundaes and, of course, the McFlurry. The chain has experimented with different pie flavors on rare occasions and offers the seasonal Shamrock Shake around St. Patrick’s Day, but it usually keeps its dessert experimentation to mix up its McFlurry flavors.
Now McDonald’s Australia hasn’t just done that, it has a new pie flavor, both of which could be contenders to be added to the menu anywhere in the world.
“McDonald’s Australia is welcoming new Creme Brulee Pie and Creme Brulee McFlurry for a limited time,” Brand Eating reported. “Creme Brulee Pie features a mixture of caramel and vanilla custard inside a turnover-style deep-fried pastry crust. McDonald’s Australian McFlurry Creme Brulee Takes Pieces of Creme Brulee Pie and mixes them in a vanilla soft serve with caramel sauce.”
A traditional crème brûlée features a layer of granulated sugar (usually finished with a blowtorch) over a sweet pastry cream.
Why McDonald’s Desserts Matter
Once McDonald’s (or any chain for that matter) walks a customer through its doors, it wants to get them to spend as much money as possible. Realistically, most customers won’t order two sandwiches or multiple orders of fries. That means meal supplements like shakes, pies and McFlurries can increase the size of checks and likely the fast food giant’s margins.
Ice cream, at least its soft version, has a very low cost. Even adding some blends probably lets McDonald’s capture a higher margin than on a burger. Adding a flavor like creme brulee, which is both exotic and familiar, gives the chain’s customers an excuse to be a little indulgent, spend a little more money and try something new.