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6 Biggest Fast-Food Menu Launches of This Spring

Have you tried these yet?

Whether you're a once-in-awhile fast-food diner or a regular patron, there's nothing that entices us more to pay a visit to our favorite fast-food chain than new menu items. There's always a chance that the latest addition could be your new go-to order.

Following widespread menu streamlining during the pandemic, fast-food menu growth has taken off in the past year, and this spring saw exciting innovations from a number of major chains. McDonald's, Burger King, Chipotle, and others released new products and re-released some old fan favorites. Here's a look at six of the biggest launches of this spring.

And don't miss 5 Worst New Fast-Food Burgers To Stay Away From Right Now.

Chipotle's Pollo Asado

chipotle pollo asado
Courtesy of Chipotle

Chipotle's new Pollo Asado offers grilled chicken bites tossed in a spice blend and coated in a marinade of lime juice and cilantro. The product launched on March 10 as a limited-time item but was tested in a few select locations as early as last November. In the tests, Pollo Asado did as well as the chain's uber-popular Smoked Brisket, which became the "best-selling menu innovation in [Chipotle's] recent history."

Burger King's Whopper Melts

burger king whopper melt
Courtesy of Burger King

On March 10 Burger King launched the Whopper Melt: a brace of Whopper Jr. Patties layered with Stacker Sauce, cheese, and caramelized onions, served on toasted bread, and available in Spicy and Bacon-y versions. Burger King hasn't said how long The Melt line will be around, but it's the confirmed first in a series of forthcoming Whopper innovations.

McDonald's Szechuan Sauce

mcdonald's szechuan sauce
Courtesy of McDonald's

Mickey D's brought back its fan-favorite dipping sauce on March 31 for a "while supplies last" run. Previously the popular sauce was available in 2017 and 2018. Szechuan Sauce was first launched in 1998, as a tie-in product for Disney's animated movie Mulan. The menu item popped back onto the cultural radar in 2017, following a shoutout on the popular animated sitcom Rick and Morty.

McDonald's Spicy McNuggets

mcdonalds spicy mcnuggets
McDonald's/ Facebook

Less than a week after bringing back Szechuan Sauce, McDonald's treated customers to a limited-time run of Spicy McNuggets. The cayenne and chili pepper–dusted chicken nuggets made their debut on the McDonald's menu in 2020, and sold out in a little over a month. A second run followed in 2021 and it seems this beloved item may be making a regular annual comeback (just like the McRib.)

Dairy Queen's Stackburgers

dairy queen stackburger menu
Courtesy of Dairy Queen

Dairy Queen recently expanded beyond desserts and ice cream with a line of five burgers, the chain's most substantial menu innovation in the last 20 years. The Stackburger line launched March 29, and is part of Dairy Queen's permanent menu.

Starbucks' Iced Toasted Vanilla Oatmilk Shaken Espresso

starbucks toasted vanilla oat milk shaken espresso
Courtesy of Starbucks

Building out its Shaken Espresso line, Starbucks launched the Iced Toasted Vanilla Oatmilk Shaken Espresso on March 1. The new iced drink, part of Starbucks ' permanent menu, features blonde espresso with a hint of caramelized vanilla.

Owen Duff
Owen Duff is a freelance journalist based in Vermont, home of Ben & Jerry’s. Read more about Owen