McDonald's "New" Chicken Sandwiches Are a Major Hit Thanks To One Clever Change
McDonald's massive hold on the fast-food industry is only getting bigger this year. The company had a stellar first quarter of 2023, beating expectations on earnings and revenue while same-store sales increased 12.6% worldwide. While McDonald's attributed these gains to factors like menu price increases and increased traffic from guests seeking more affordable options, it also owes credit for some of its recent success to a simple yet clever rebranding of a popular menu item: the McCrispy.
After Popeyes' launched its wildly popular chicken sandwich in 2019, other fast-food chains looking to cash in on the chicken sandwich craze began developing and introducing their own versions of the food item. McDonald's answer to the trend was the Crispy Chicken Sandwich that launched in February 2021, featuring a fried chicken fillet and crinkle-cut pickles on a toasted, buttered potato roll. (The chain also introduced spicy and deluxe versions of the sandwich during that initial launch)
McDonald's renamed the Crispy Chicken Sandwich to the McCrispy in March this year, giving it the "Mc" stamp of honor that other iconic menu items like the Chicken McNuggets and McFlurry also boast.
That simple name change last month, as well as the launch of two new limited edition versions of the sandwich in honor of the renaming, helped drive "double-digit sales growth," according to McDonald's Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Ian Borden. Borden said during an earnings call this week that McDonald's saw this recent boost in McCrispy sales despite "no change to the core product." The company now offers the McCrispy in 10 of its biggest markets across the world.
The McCrispy hype is good news for McDonald's Accelerating the Arches growth strategy, a key tenet of which is driving new ways to bring core menu items to life. McDonald's said that it wanted to build on the success of newer favorites like the McCrispy and predicted that chicken will be a "growth driver" for the company across the world moving forward.
In other McDonald's news, the fast-food giant announced earlier this month that it was rolling out some major upgrades to its signature burgers across the United States by 2024. These changes include using softer buns, ensuring cheese is perfectly melted, and cooking onions directly on burger patties.