McDonald’s is bringing back an old favorite to its menu after a customer revolt
is bringing back Hi-C Orange in the coming months.
The creator of the fried chicken sandwich is changing things up with a grilled version. The Grilled Spicy Chicken Deluxe Sandwich is its first new chicken sandwich in nearly two years and has its own specially created Cilantro Lime Sauce.
"We know guests are looking to add more variety to their meals, especially after a year where new food experiences were limited," said Leslie Neslage, director of menu and packaging at Chick-fil-A, in an acknowledgment that last year's start of the pandemic complicated menu debuts.
Despite the frigid temperatures, cold drinks continue to be a success for the coffee chain. Starbucks said sales of the icy concoctions have grown 45% over the past four years, which has prompted it to unveil another cold drink.
This month, the Honey Almondmilk Cold Brew, was added to menus -- a new drink that also capitalizes on the growth of non-dairy milks.
The pizza chain added two new items this month: A crusty ring of cheese-stuffed dough called the Nothing But Stuffed Crust and a Detroit-style pizza.
Competition among big chains has been fierce during the pandemic, which has fueled a surge in pizza demand from Americans who are spending more time at home and avoiding dine-in restaurants. Pizza Hut hopes the new menu items sustain last year's growth, a trend that's likely to continue.
"What we saw in 2020 was that many of these pizza delivery guys had a big boom in their sales because there was nowhere else to go," Peter Saleh, a restaurant analyst with research firm BTIG, previously told CNN Business. He predicts pizza sales will remain healthy in 2021 as the "environment for dining continues to be challenged."
Chipotle added cauliflower rice to its menu as customers' tastes keep shifting toward healthier options, including low-carb or more plant-based alternatives. The rice alternative, which costs $2 extra, was tested last summer before making its nationwide debut earlier this month.
As if there weren't enough options for a basic fried chicken sandwich, Boston Market is here to up the ante.
The Nashville Hot Crispy Chicken Sandwich is now being sold for a limited time, with a confident company saying that the "chicken sandwich wars are over." It gets its spiciness from a hot sauce that "perfectly blends cayenne pepper and chili powder with sugar, garlic and a handful of secret spices."
McDonald’s has heard the complaints and is bringing back the fan-favorite Hi-C Orange drink after a nearly four-year absence from soda fountains.
The orange-colored beverage will begin reappearing in select U.S. restaurants this month and will be available nationwide by June. McDonald’s said in a release that its return was prompted by boisterous fans on social media that have “passionately asked for us to bring it back over the years.”
Hi-C Orange Lavaburst, a non-carbonated drink, was replaced in 2017 by Sprite Tropic Berry, a carbonated drink that was made by Coca-Cola exclusively for the chain. The removal of the beloved drink after about 60 years on McDonalds’ menus sparked outrage from irate fans and a petition on Change.org.
McDonald’s has created a special website to track the re-arrival of the beverage. It will be updated on a weekly basis and can be used by entering a zip code. Hi-C will join Fanta Orange in McDonald’s soda fountains, making its “legendary orange drink roster once again complete,” the company said.
Fast-food chains are constantly competing for customers’ dollars and attention, and specialty offerings and bringing back customer favorites are a way to try to cut through the noise. McDonald’s also regularly taps into millennial nostalgia for promotions, as indicative by bringing back Hi-C since it was popular in the 1990s.
This month, McDonald’s already brought back the Shamrock Shake and is adding three new chicken sandwiches in two weeks.
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