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McD expects new McSkillet to woo Hispanics

OAK BROOK Ill. McDonald’s rolled out its new McSkillet Burrito today as part of a an effort to raise breakfast sales beyond the 24 percent of unit intake the meal currently generates domestically, the chain indicated.

“It has particular appeal for our Hispanic customers,” Bill Lamar, chief marketing officer for franchisor McDonald’s Corp., said of the new $2.49 item. Television ads in Spanish are running in selected markets.

The burrito consists of a flour tortilla wrapped around scrambled eggs, sausage, a cheese blend, skillet potatoes, roasted red and green peppers, onions and salsa roja. The item is meant to appeal to customers who enjoy zestier flavors, Lamar said.

McDonald’s is promoting the McSkillet Burrito in online ads as "a Saturday morning, sit-down-style breakfast you can eat on the go."

The McSkillet Burrito is the first new handheld breakfast item introduced by McDonald’s since the McGriddles sandwiches were rolled out in 2003. A Southern-style chicken biscuit now being tested is likely to be the next sandwich addition, Lamar said.

“We think it will be a way to introduce customers to chicken at breakfast,” he said.

Despite the introduction of a burrito and the pending addition of the biscuit sandwich, the quick-service giant will not offer breakfast all day “for a long time,” said Jan Fields, executive vice president and chief operating officer of McDonald’s USA.

Breakfast has already been expanded, she noted, at the 77 percent of the chain that now opens at 5 a.m. All 13,700 domestic operations have been urged to push their start times back to that hour because of indications that consumers are beginning their days earlier.

In addition to supporting the rollout with a variety of traditional and online advertising, McDonald’s Corp. introduced the new product this morning in a virtual breakfast roundtable led by Fields.

Asmaller breakfast burrito, though not marketed as a McSkillet Burrito, continues to be offered by McDonald’s in some markets as a $1 value item.

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