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Fast Food

McDonald’s Brings Caramel Brownie McFlurry To Dessert Menu

Photo courtesy of McDonald’s

It’s been a minute since McDonald’s added something new to their McFlurry options. Don’t get me wrong, I could dive into a cup of Oreo McFlurry with a side of fries any day, but something new is always welcome. 

The fast-food chain has announced they’ll be offering a new Caramel Brownie McFlurry

Vanilla soft serve comes together with brownie pieces and caramel topping and is blended until the morsels engrain themselves into the silky smooth frozen cream. 

This product’s release marks the first time the Caramel Brownie McFlurry will be available in the US. It made its original debut in Canada back in 2017. 

McDonald’s customers can get their hands on the new McFlurry option starting May 3 at all participating McDonald’s locations nationwide. 

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Fast Food Sweets

McDonald’s Japan Debuting OREO Cheesecake This Spring

Photo: McDonald’s Japan

Further proof that fast food items overseas are far superior than the offerings here stateside, McDonald’s Japan will be serving up this spring an OREO Cheesecake via McCafe by Barista. And as the visuals suggest, this is a cheesecake that’s got a bullseye on OREO lovers’ hearts.

This decadent OREO Cheesecake features a lavish layer of the cookie crumbs in the crust and on top, which crowns a lemon-infused cream cheese filling. Sheesh.

The OREO Cheesecake will be available for a limited time from March 24, though no specific end date has been announced.

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Culture Fast Food

McDonald’s New Pokémon Happy Meals Are Being Bought En Masse

Photo courtesy of Brian Yamamoto.

McDonald’s has teamed up with Pokémon to celebrate the gaming franchise’s 25th anniversary. Their way of doing that? Happy Meals branded with the titular game mascot, Pikachu, that also include toys and Pokémon trading cards.

While this was expected to be an easy way to get kids to ask for more McDonald’s, some of the biggest orders for these meal sets have come from adults seeking Pokémon treasure.

These people could honestly care less about the food, as they’re trying to score the packs of Pokémon cards in hope of scoring a rare one.

Over the past year, the value of rare types of Pokémon cards has vaulted through the roof. There are reports of celebrities like Logan Paul or Logic selling or buying the most coveted of these cards for over $100,000.

Rare cards include “holo” or “foil” varieties that have a kaleidoscopic sheen to them. They’ve been included at random in packs of Pokémon cards for years, but the recent spike in value they’ve seen has led to a craze where retailers struggle to keep the regular packs on shelves.

The Pokémon cards from McDonald’s include a brand new set of foil cards, some of which have already resold for close to $100 each. As such, folks are hoping to score some of these rare cards from the McDonald’s Happy Meals, and will clean out inventories to do so.

The cards themselves have a value of about $10 a pack on resale sites as of press time, making them more than double the price of the meal you would purchase to obtain one. Of course, most people are buying the meals in bulk to get their hands on these cards.

McDonald’s doesn’t have a unified policy on whether franchisees can sell just the toys or not, meaning that in some cases, folks can get away with buying out the whole stock of toys and cards and posting them on eBay. Some boxes of hundreds of these cards have popped up for sale there for close to $10,000.

Other locations have had limited amounts available or restrict to having to buy the meals. According to Kotaku, some YouTubers have gotten around this buy purchasing from multiple locations, hoping to generate enough boxes to make videos, and hopefully money, off of.

As for the meals themselves, it seems like people are trying to do their best to not have the burgers and fries go to waste. Some YouTubers will do mukbangs of themselves eating the entire order, while others gave them away to those in need.

There have been reports, although unconfirmed, of people throwing away the meals, but no physical or video evidence has emerged yet to support that case.

The Pokémon Happy Meals were just released on February 9th, meaning there should still be time to get your hands on one if you want. However, since they are a limited-time offering, chances are folks on the internet could buy the entire stock up fast.

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Fast Food Food Challenges Food Policy Food Waste Science

McDonald’s Begins To Make Their Trays Out Of Trash

Photo courtesy of Arcos Dorados

When it comes to finding ways to reduce waste and carbon footprint, McDonald’s has been one of the leaders in the fast food industry. They’ve been working to source all of their packaging from recyclable and renewable sources, and are 78 percent of the way there so far.

In Brazil, McDonald’s is testing a renewable plastic for one part of their food system we normally wouldn’t think of: the trays your food gets served on.

Photo courtesy of Arcos Dorados

The test is happening thanks to a collaboration between major McDonald’s franchisee Arcos Dorados and UBQ, a company that takes trash and other common waste and converts it into plastic materials.

UBQ was able to use their thermoplastic product to create McDonald’s trays, and Arcos Dorados sent them to several locations across Brazil. The initial test produced 7,000 trays that went to 30 locations, and Arcos Dorados will be expanding this to McDonald’s locations nationwide.

Photo courtesy of UBQ

The initial test has already diverted over 2,000 pounds of waste, and the Brazil-wide expansion would translate to over 8,000 pounds of carbon dioxide taken out of circulation.

Whether McDonald’s will look at their franchisee’s success and make more trays globally remains to be seen. However, this marks a key step on the chain’s attempts to reduce their carbon footprint as much as possible.

Categories
Fast Food What's New

Katsu Curry McNuggets Are Coming To McDonald’s UK

As if we needed any more proof that America hardly ever gets the cool releases in fast food, McDonald’s in the UK will be debuting Katsu Curry Chicken McNuggets on December 30.

Featuring McNuggets coated in crispy panko breadcrumbs and served with a side of curry dip, this iteration is an eyeopener in terms of the potential McNuggets have to be served in different flavors and types. Patrons can try a box of the Japanese-inspired nuggets for £3.59 for six, £4.09 for nine, or 20 pieces for £5.99.

However, they have to act quickly, as these McNuggets are a limited-edition and will only be available for a six week window. Now if the US can even get a sniff of any creative fast food item such as this, then things can get exciting again in that space.

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Fast Food Plant-Based What's New

McPLANT: McDonald’s Long-Awaited Plant-Based Menu Coming In 2021

Photo courtesy of McDonald’s

McDonald’s has been taking its time when it comes to adding plant-based foods to its menu. Outside of a couple of international tests and launches, the burger chain hasn’t added anything vegan onto its dining options. We now know the reason why: the burger giant was working on making its own forms of plant-based meat.

This new platform of items, called the McPlant, will start with a plant-based burger test that will happen in select markets globally in 2021. The plan is to bring this, along with meat-free chicken and breakfast offerings, to McDonald’s locations over the next few years.

According to USA Today, the announcement was made by McDonald’s International President Ian Borden during the chain’s most recent investor update call.

“McPlant is crafted exclusively for McDonald’s, by McDonald’s,” Borden said. “In the future, McPlant could extend across a line of plant-based products including burgers, chicken-substitutes and breakfast sandwiches.”

Making your own plant-based substitutes is no easy feat, which explains why McDonald’s has been taking so long. According to CNBC, McDonald’s was working with Beyond Meat behind the scenes for a while to make their McPlant lineup happen, but are choosing to not tack the company’s name onto their plant-based offerings.

How their take on a plant-based burger will stack up to what’s already out there, however, remains to be seen.

After McDonald’s big news, the remaining national fast food establishments to have not tested or announced a plant-based or meat-free substitute include Arby’s, Wendy’s, Jack in the Box, and Sonic, amongst others.

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Culture Fast Food What's New

McDonald’s Japan’s Double Cheeseburger With Rice Buns Has Got Our Attention

“Gohan” or “Rice Burgers” turned heads when McDonald’s Japan released them earlier this year. But now a new iteration of it has been debuted by the Golden Arches called the Gohan Dabuchi or “Rice Double Cheeseburger,” as reported by SoraNews24, an English-language Japan-based food and pop culture website.

The release of this double cheeseburger with crisped rice buns has generated considerable buzz online, notably for looking so damn delectable with the melty cheese and glistening double patties.

SoraNews24’s own fast food reporter, Seiji Nakazawa was able to try the burger out and gave a glowing review stating, “the taste of beef really stood out in a way it didn’t with other rice burgers” and that its “ratio of beef to rice seemed perfect.”

The Rice Dabuchi is priced at 390 yen ($3.73) plus tax and is accompanied by a regular Dabuchi featuring burger buns for 340 yen ($3.29). These two new burgers debuted on October 28th and are set for a limited run on McDonald’s Japan locations.

Categories
Fast Food What's New

Hardee’s Take on the McGriddle Is Launching Amidst Chain’s Breakfast Expansion

Hardee’s, the sister chain to Carl’s Jr., is starting to expand their breakfast menu with a mix of limited-time offers and new test items. The figurehead amongst those is a Hardee’s McGriddle copycat they’re calling the Hot Cakes Breakfast Sandwich.

hardee's mcgriddle
Photo courtesy of Hardee’s. Background: Jonathan Weiss // Shutterstock

Consisting of a sausage patty and folded scrambled eggs in between two hot cakes, the sandwich also comes with a side of syrup to get the full McGriddle experience. It’s not exactly the same as having syrup crystallized into the pancake batter, but you still get that blend of sweet and savory that the breakfast sandwich is known for.

A major difference between this sandwich and McDonald’s original is that the Hardee’s sandwich does not have cheese on it as a default option.

The sandwich is going to be available alongside a Hot Cakes Breakfast Platter for a limited time, starting August 19th. Each sandwich will cost $3, putting it in the same price range as the McDonald’s version.

Photo courtesy of Hardee’s

Hardee’s is also testing a couple of other breakfast items at the same time, one of which is this Hand-Breaded Chicken & Waffle Sandwich that comes slathered in maple butter. It appears to be the chain’s answer to Honey Butter Chicken breakfast sandwiches that have begun appearing at national chains like Wendy’s.

The sandwich will be available from August 19th to September 22nd in Columbia, South Carolina, Huntsville, Alabama, and Des Moines, Iowa, for a price of $4.49.

Photo courtesy of Hardee’s

The other item Hardee’s is testing out is a Biscuit Double Cheeseburger that gives you the option for a breakfast burger without the usual inclusion of scrambled or fried eggs. This will be available from August 19th to September 22nd in Little Rock, Arkansas and Nashville. It comes at a cost of $2.99 per sandwich.

These same two test markets will also be trying out extended breakfast hours that last until 2 p.m.

This post was updated to reflect changes in market testing.