There are several new products on the menu at McDonald's restaurants around the world. Makes sense, right; being the biggest burger chain and all. But what's particularly interesting now about the pipeline is that new CEO Don Thompson has specifically said the chain is testing a number of new products, some of which have been adapted directly from other areas of the world.
More than once, he's touched on the idea of "innovating, sharing and scaling" products from other global markets.
So when Austrian McDonald's units roll out McNoodles, as they just did this week, it's not a huge stretch to wonder if that dish will eventually be sold in the U.S. Reuters reported that McDonald's added Asian noodle boxes in response to Austrians' growing demand for the cuisine. Earlier this year, McDonald's Austria rolled out bubble tea to cater to that trend as well.
If McNoodles are a U.S. possibility, then so is the Black and White hamburger combo now available in China. According to Kotaku.com, this offering was developed to describe people who are connected with the government (white) and organized crime (black).
OK, that may not fit the U.S. narrative quite the same, but whatever. Truth is, whenever McDonald's launches a new product anywhere, people are going to wonder whether we'll see it here. The new(ish) McBites have proven to be a successful domestic launch for the Golden Arches and they originated in Australia.
So did the wildly successful McCafe line.
Last year, BuzzFeed.com ran a list of 45 items that aren't available in the U.S. but should be, including a cheese fondue chicken sandwich (Japan), chicken porridge (Malaysia), McAloo Tikki Burger (India) and the Greek Mac (Greece). It might not be a bad idea to keep that list handy for future reference.
McRib's timing delayed
The McRib, McDonald's most popular limited-time offering, was developed in the early 1980s in the U.S. Ad Age reported this week that the company plans to delay its annual rollout by a couple of months in order to boost the typically sluggish fourth quarter.
Ad Age obtained a memo from McDonald's Operators National Advertising Fund that said the McRib marketing window was scheduled for Oct. 22 through Nov. 11. But McDonald's made the decision to move the promotion to the latter half of December instead to strengthen Q4. And, yes, the McRib would contribute that big of a power play for the brand.
Also of note, the memo outlined two new products for the fall, including a cheddar bacon onion Angus burger, and a cheddar bacon onion chicken sandwich. They are expected to be positioned as premium products with higher price points.