In Part 1 of the 10 Canceled McDonald’s Items That People Still Talk About we covered some of the menu items that people still remember fondly and some even went as far as signing petitions to have them back. Now that’s what we call passion. In Part 2 we continue that interesting list of unforgettable items that McDonald’s for some reason only known to the top tier in the company decided to pull off the menu to the dismay of its loyal fans the world over.
OK, I’m going to go out on a limb here and answer the question on everyone’s mind. The one about why on earth would anyone think that a pizza in a fast food outlet is such a bad idea that they would pull it off the regular menu. But before I venture my opinion about this serious matter, let’s start from the beginning. Back in the late 1980s when life was much simpler and the mallet was a guy’s way of making a statement, McDonald’s decided to introduce pizza to the menu. And it was an instant hit with the customers. People loved it. And what’s there not to love. The cheese was real, the ingredients were fresh, and the sauce was something to die for. It was quite popular even when some people complained about the time it took for them to get their pies. But most people didn’t mind. Then in the early 1990s and after more than a decade of passionate love, the beloved McPizza disappeared. Just like that, it was gone. No longer could you walk into your favorite outlet and confidently order a pie and sit patiently waiting for it to be baked fresh and delivered to you. No reason was given. But I tend to think that the waiting time was just too long for customers. And as we all know that no business likes to have lines of customers waiting around because their order was still in the oven. But some outlets continued to serve McPizza. And as recent 2017, there were three locations in the US still serving this delicious pizza. That is until strict orders came from the top to cut it out and shut down the pizza thing. We still yearn for it, though.
9. Cheddar Melt
When you look at the picture above you might think you’re looking at an Arch Deluxe Burger. But even though both look alike they had very vital differences. And these differences are the reasons why people have gone on Facebook demanding the return of the Cheddar Melt. Even though this fast food delight has ceased to exist on McDonald’s regular menu since the 1990s. You’d think people would have forgotten about it and moved on. But no. Some are still campaigning with a fiery hunger in their hearts (and their stomachs) for the return of the dearly departed. Why the passion and fondness, you might ask? Well, it might have to do with the beef burger with a crown of yummy onions fried in butter with a dash of teriyaki sauce. All that was smothered with cheese sauce that when mixed with the burger in your mouth it triggered endorphins in your brain. Which might explain why people still miss it after all these years. The thing is, though, the whole time the cheddar melt was being served on the regular menu, no more than a couple of years at most, it wasn’t that successful. After a shaky start, the item started to disappear from the menus only to appear in other countries like Brazil. So if customers didn’t like it, why are people petitioning to bring it back on Facebook? Your guess is as good as mine.
Back in 2013, McDonald’s decided to introduce a Mexican-style menu item and called it McWrap. It cost $3.99 which was rather pricey at the time for many customers, but it was McDonald’s way to take on Subway. You know how the war between fast food chains flares and simmers all the time. So what was in this item and why it didn’t make it. You have a wrap stuffed with a chicken which comes in two varieties. Either grilled or deep fried. All wrapped nicely with lettuce, salads, and special sauce. You can also have it as Chicken & Bacon, Chicken & Ranch, or Sweet Chilli Chicken. And it was healthy too. The whole thing had about 360 to 600 calories depending on the chicken you choose. So why did a healthy item like that disappear and disappoint millions of people? Blame it on millennials. No, seriously, that was the main reason given at the time. It was said that millennials had killed the McWrap. Rumor had it that millennials didn’t like the sandwich which was dubbed the “Subway buster” at the time it was launched. Another reason was the steep price. The whole affair only lasted for three years between 2013 and 2016. After that, the McWrap was no more. We still miss it though. If nothing else, it was a healthy item in a menu that didn’t offer many of those.
7. Cinnamon Rolls
In the beginning, they were called cinnamon rolls. Then McDonald’s, not having the success they had hoped these little delightful pinwheels would achieve among customers, decided to replace them with cinnamon melts (pictured above). In both cases, the item had failed to gain traction or ignite people’s imagination. Now it’s not clear why these delicious fluffy bites had found it difficult to chart their way to the hearts of the loyal customers. Some blamed it on poor advertising. Others pointed the finger at the disastrous decision to pull the cinnamon rolls before they had enough time to register with people’s palates and taste buds. Well, to be fair, the cinnamon rolls remained on the menu for 3 whole years before they were replaced with the cinnamon melts. And 3 years is plenty of time for everyone to have tried them at least once. Years after they have been discontinued you’d find people asking on online forums about those yummy desserts. Which goes to show that no item no matter how dismal its performance is a total failure. You’d still have people coming to ask about it years down the line. Which also says something about the loyal fans. They don’t forget their favorite menu items easily.
6. Chicken McBites
They had a short life on the menu in the US but they left a good impression on the fast food chain fans. For a beautiful year, McDonald’s put that exquisite item on its menu as an experiment. It’s not clear why they disappeared though. They still sell like hotcakes in other parts of the world though. Which just goes to show that McDonald’s works in mysterious ways. Chicken McBites as the name implies were little bites of delicious chicken smothered in the sauce of your choice. You could have honey mustard, sweet ‘n sour, creamy ranch, tangy barbeque, honey sauce, spicy buffalo, or sweet chili. And it’s hard to tell which of these sauces made the little pieces of chicken delight tasted better. They all brought joy and ecstasy to your mouth and your whole life in general. So what happened to them? Well, according to the powers that be in the fast-food chain, Chicken McBites were introduced as a limited offer in the US market. Think of them as a bonus round in the video game parlance. Still, you’d think they would have become a permanent fixture in the menu if they were so yummy. Only there were other factors that contributed to their demise. One of those was the steep price. For many customers, it was cheaper to get the McNuggets. They’re still served in Australia though. Which makes visiting Downunder all the more compelling.
5. Chopped Beefsteak Sandwich
This one is an oldie and I’m not sure if it’s a goldie. Back in the 1970s, chopped beefsteak was all the rage in diners, cafes, concessions, and fast food joints all over the major metropolises across the world. And McDonald’s not wanting to be left out of the beefsteak gravy train took a head-first plunge. Not to mix the metaphors any more than they’re already mangled, this highly unhealthy item was best served with fried onions. For the sake of your arteries, this sandwich should have been a hard no, but back in the ‘70s life was much simpler and most people were daredevils who had no fear of tomorrow or heart attacks. You should have seen the way they chain-smoked. But back to our sandwich. It was a hamburger-like thing in a bun with a generous helping of fried onions and magic sauce. It’s important to stress here that McDonald’s never took this chopped beefsteak fad seriously. They knew that it would pass and people would be clamoring back over chicken once again. That’s why the Chopped Beefsteak Sandwich was introduced as a test product and it never made it past that stage. Despite the marketing campaign and the few ads left on youtube, there’s no indication the sandwich was marked for a long shelf-life. And sure enough as soon as the bubble of chopped beefsteak and fried onion burst (after an unspecified number of arteries were hardened as a result) people went back to the McNuggets and Macs and McDonald’s unceremoniously ditched its own sandwich.
4. Shakin’ Fries
For a couple of years between 2014 and 2015, McDonald’s tried to shake things up and add a little excitement to a menu that was staggering on the brink of boredom and stagnation. How to do that? Well, take the good old fries for example. For years they have been served the same way. Slender sticks of salted fried potatoes that have a uniform unappealing color. Now if we give the customer the choice to add a different flavor to those fries, maybe they will become alive in their mouths. And so it began. Throughout the US, one city after another started testing this novel idea. The makeover of the old fries. It was given a secret code name and like all secrets, it never made it past the meeting rooms at the top echelons of the fast food empire. The three flavors were Garlic Parmesan, Spicy Buffalo, and Zesty Ranch. When you ordered the fries you got a packet of your chosen flavor with the bag. You tore the packet and poured the content over the fries then ate the flavored fries. Simple, right? Yes, and messy too. Which probably explains why it didn’t fly this bold new idea. The new flavors exciting as they were, were just not worth all the extra work.
3. Big Xtra
Often mistakenly confused with the Big ‘n Tasty, the Big Xtra was also released in 1997 but was originally only available in the Northeastern United States. The main difference between the two burgers was the size. The Big Xtra (or MBX) had a unique blend of spices added to a bigger 4.5 ounce patty. The seasoned beef came on a sesame-seed bun, topped with lettuce, tomato and a special ketchup-mayonnaise sauce. Both burgers were part of Mickey D’s direct assault on the Burger King Whopper. While some people still swear by the Big Xtra and consider it the best sandwich to ever be churned out by the McDonald’s machine, others have gone all their lives without hearing about the blessed thing. Once the Big ‘n Tasty was rolled out nationally in 2000, the MBX disappeared from the United States. Some are calling for its immediate return, while others are probably just eating BK Whoppers. If you’re desperate to try one, you can still find them at select McDonald’s …in Walmarts …in Canada.
2. Mighty Wings
I have so many jokes to dish out at this item (see what I did there?) but what’s the point of beating a dead chicken. You know what they say about how the mighty fall? This one fell spectacularly. It soared and soared but mighty as these wings were, they couldn’t just pull all that heavy price up to the peaks of profitability that make up corporate execs’ wet dreams. As usual, the Mighty Wings were introduced as a limited-time offer. You know like a test balloon. You put it out there and see how customers will react to it? Will they take the bait and get hooked or would they shun it? And shun it they did. Now to be fair, the Mighty Wings were worthy of the name in every respect. They were yummy, big, and came covered with a spicy spreading. After a few test runs in a few locations, they were met with an enthusiasm which prompted the company to expand the network of outlets serving them. Alas, the novelty wore off quickly and people decided that the pricey things were just too much to have regularly.
1. McDonaldland Cookies
Just like Graceland and Neverland, there was also McDonaldland. A fantasy world that was featured in several commercials. The cookies that belong to the last one were popular among the Generation Xers in their formative years. Back in the 1970s children were easy to entertain. McDonald’s decided to serve them cookies with the faces of such famous characters as Ronald, Captain Cook, Hamburgler, and Officer Big Mac himself. They served as a form of dessert and kids were devouring them with gusto and relish. Sadly after the demise of McDonaldland concept due to a lawsuit that cost the company a cool one million dollars in the ‘70s, many of the favorite characters disappeared. Eventually, kids found other ways of entertainment and the cookies just lost their appeal.