McDonald's emphasizes ingredients
New menu items: Egg White Delight McMuffin (pictured), Premium McWraps, blueberry-pomegranate Real Fruit Smoothie, Hot ’n Spicy McChicken on the Dollar Menu
Culinary trends: healthfulness, beverages, spicy flavors
Like Burger King’sburger, which it is pitching not as a “better-for-you” item but as a sandwich with appealing ingredients like turkey and whole-grain bread, McDonald’s Egg White Delight represents an evolution in the way quick-service chains are promoting products with a health halo.
Once again, Hayden noted, the message is not about the ingredients that are taken away but rather the quality of the new ones. “This egg-white McMuffin only saves you about 40 calories, but it is on a whole-grain muffin,” she said. “Hopefully, people are just recognizing the better elements and making the choice because what’s in something, rather than just because McDonald’s eliminated something and made it ‘fat-free’ or whatever.”
Earlier in March, McDonald’s had confirmed the discontinuation of slow-selling items likeSelects and the Fruit & Walnut Salad. While Premium McWraps and an egg-white version of the McMuffin could be interpreted as replacements in McDonald’s lineup of healthful or non-burger alternatives, menu trends expert Mark Laux said at the time of the launch that the Oak Brook, Ill.-based chain would not risk much lost traffic without the chicken tenders and salad.
“The anti-veto-vote items for McDonald’s are the Filet-O-Fish, the Southern Chicken Sandwich and their other salads,” said Laux, chief executive of Oshkosh, Wis.-based HotOperator Inc.
A new flavor of Real Fruit Smoothie will roll out systemwide in May, timed to overlap the launch of the Cherry Berry Chiller last May and the Frozen Strawberry Lemonade in May 2011.