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McDonald’s teases with Cheesy Bacon Fries

McDonald’s teases with Cheesy Bacon Fries

Chain says loaded fries in California and Hawaii are not a test, but one analyst disagrees

McDonald’s Corp. is teasing Americans yet again with a new menu item that can only be found in certain parts of the country.

Restaurants in Hawaii and Northern California recently began selling Cheesy Bacon Fries. McDonald’s said the fries, which are topped with cheese sauce and smoked bacon bits, will be available through the end of the year. A restaurant in Stockton, Calif., is selling the fries for $3.75.

The menu item resembles the Cheese & Bacon Loaded Fries served in Australian restaurants, which McDonald’s recently made available at the new global store in downtown Chicago.

It is not a test, McDonald’s said. It’s just another chance to offer “a regional limited-time-offer menu item,” the company said.

The chain pointed to other random regional food programs: New Englanders get lobster rolls every once in a while in the summer. The iconic McRib pops up in random markets almost every winter, including at 9,000 stores nationwide this year. 

And, two years ago, McDonald’s sold Gilroy Garlic Fries in Northern California.

The Cheesy Bacon Fries can be purchased a la carte or as an upgrade in the Extra Value Meal. Though, the Chicago-based chain said the Cheesy Bacon Fries are not on trial for a chance at the national menu, one analyst speculated otherwise.

Mark Kalinowski of Kalinowski Equity Research wrote about the fries in a Nov. 13 report. He said the cheese slathered fries have been spotted in California cities (Stockton, Modesto and Fresno) that McDonald’s tends to use for testing national products.  

“In general, McDonald’s seems to favor test items in places like Stockton and Modesto,” he wrote. “That signals to us a seriousness about the testing that suggests the odds are probably growing that we’ll see a nationwide (U.S.) rollout of Cheesy Bacon Fries at some point during 2019.”

McDonald’s operates about 14,000 restaurants in the U.S.

Contact Nancy Luna at [email protected] 

Follow her on Twitter: @fastfoodmaven

TAGS: Menu Marketing
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