McDonald’s, which has trimmed its menu during the coronavirus pandemic, plans to add two new limited-time offers next month: Spicy Chicken McNuggets and Chips Ahoy! McFlurry.
It’s the first time the chain has introduced a new flavor to Chicken McNuggets in the U.S. since they debuted in 1983. It's also the first new entree meal to join the menu since the onset of the pandemic.
"Throughout the pandemic, our customers have relied on McDonald’s for a small bit of normalcy and comfort. Though times are different, we’re still remaining true to innovation being the heart of McDonald’s business, and we’re constantly evolving our menu based on consumer preferences to elevate their experience," McDonald's USA said in a statement sent to Nation's Restaurant News.
The spicy chicken nuggets, which debut Sept. 16, are breaded with a tempura coating made of a blend of cayenne and chili peppers.
Along with the new nuggets, McDonald's is introducing a new Mighty Hot Sauce made with crushed red peppers and spicy chilis. The dipping sauce is the chain's first new sauce innovation since 2017 when the company introduced Signature Sauce to pair with Buttermilk Crispy Tenders. Mighty Hot Sauce will be the hottest sauce available on the McDonald’s menu, the company said.
“As our customers have been asking for Spicy McNuggets for some time now, we couldn’t think of a better time to bring them to our menus,” Linda VanGosen, vice president of menu innovation, said in a statement.
Photo: McDonald's to debut new menu items: Spicy Chicken McNuggets and Chips Ahoy! McFlurry, left. It’s the first time the chain has added a new flavor to McNuggets since 1983.
Also debuting for a limited time in mid-September is the Chips Ahoy! McFlurry, a blend of vanilla soft-serve and Chips Ahoy! cookie pieces topped with caramel.
The classic flavors, OREO and M&M’s, will remain on the menu.
McDonald’s did not provide prices for the new LTOs, saying the cost depends on each market. The Spicy Chicken McNuggets can be ordered in four different piece offerings, similar to the sizes offered for the classic Chicken McNuggets.
In Southern California, the price of a 4-piece Chicken McNuggets goes for $2.19, according to the brand’s app. But, in that same region, the six-piece McNuggets are currently selling for $2 on the $1 $2 $3 Dollar Menu. A 10-piece size is priced at $4.89.
During the pandemic, many chains pressed pause on menu innovation, but over the last few months that trend has reversed as restaurants look to lure consumers with new flavors.
Chains have also trimmed menus during the coronavirus crisis, including McDonald’s.
In its latest quarterly earnings, the chain said bringing back items like all-day breakfast will vary market by market.
CEO Chris Kempczinski said eventually some core items will return to the menu, but it is a safe bet that McDonald’s won’t go “all the way back to where we were.”
A majority of McDonald’s Corp.’s nearly 14,000 U.S. stores are open for carryout, delivery and drive thru orders. About 2,000 restaurants have reopened dining rooms.
The Chicago-based chain has been slow to reopen dining rooms amid surging coronavirus positivity rates in certain states.
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Updated: This story was updated to clarify menu details provided by McDonald's Corp.