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McDonald’s to debut new Big Mac sizes

Mac Jr., Big Mac and Grand Mac to roll out nationwide early next year

McDonald’s Corp. is bringing two new Big Macs to the masses.

The Oak Brook, Ill.-based operator will introduce two new Big Mac sizes nationwide in a limited-time offer early next year, a rare menu line extension intended to reinvigorate interest in the iconic, 50-year-old sandwich.

McDonald’s will offer a Mac Jr., a single-layer Big Mac that is easier to eat on the go, as well as a Grand Mac, a bigger Big Mac with two all-beef patties weighing a third of a pound. The new sizes are designed to entice customers who might want more, or less, Big Mac.

McDonald’s said Thursday that the new Big Macs will be available later this month at restaurants in Florida and Pittsburgh. A national rollout is slated for early next year.

“We listened to our customers, who told us they wanted different ways to enjoy the one-of-a-kind Big Mac taste,” McDonald’s chef Mike Haracz said in a statement. 

McDonald’s tested the new Big Mac sizes earlier this year in Central Ohio and Dallas/Fort Worth.

McDonald’s has rarely played with the Big Mac since Pennsylvania franchisee Jim Delligatti started serving the burger back in 1967. The sandwich rolled out nationwide the following year, and has become the chain’s signature entrée. McDonald’s previously sold a Big Mac Snack Wrap that has since been discontinued.

The national rollout of new Big Macs is the latest indication that the company is looking at all avenues in a bid to win back customers lost in recent years in a hotly competitive U.S. restaurant market.

big mac sizes

McDonald’s has added outsiders to its executive ranks. It is moving its headquarters to downtown Chicago. And, more than a year ago, it introduced all-day breakfast —breaking the company’s long-held view that the morning meal service should end at 10:30 a.m. 

All-day breakfast was considered a rousing success for McDonald’s, which reported two successive quarters of same-store sales above 5 percent in its key U.S. market before slowing down recently.

Indeed, slowing sales and traffic have generated concerns among investors that McDonald’s turnaround has lost steam already. The company’s stock is down more than 15 percent since hitting more than $131 per share earlier this year.  

But McDonald’s has struggled to generate consistent sales and traffic outside breakfast. And the iconic Big Mac has lost favor with younger consumers who grew up on the chain’s Dollar Menu. In an argument for trying out new variations of the Big Mac this summer, a top franchisee noted in a memo that only one in five Millennials has tried the Big Mac, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Additionally, the company has faced intense competition from better-burger chains and its own quick-service competitors for premium burger customers.

Correction: Nov. 4, 2016  An earlier version of this story misstated the location of Jim Delligatti's restaurants.

Contact Jonathan Maze at [email protected]
Follow him on Twitter: @jonathanmaze

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