Welcome to part four of our long-running series about those McDonald’s menu items that are no longer with us. Over the years these items have disappeared, leaving puzzlement and a deep yearning in their wake. As far as fast-food chains are concerned, McDonald’s has been a part of the global food psyche for decades now. But not everything the fast-food giant dishes out has been a total success. You just need to refer to the first three parts of this series to see the culinary disasters that had found their way to the official menu only to make a hasty exit a short while later. So without further ado, let’s dig in. Here are 10 Cancelled McDonald’s Items That People Still Talk About (Part 4)
10. McJordan Special
In the early 1990s there were two names that seemingly ruled the world; McDonald’s and Michael Jordan. Imagine if those two giants came together to give us something special? Well, imagine no more as that’s exactly what happened. The NBA legend and fast food giants came together to give us the McJordan Special. 1/4 pound beef patty with cheese and bacon topped with barbecue source, mustard and plenty of pickles. Many may say that the McJordan is just a fancy Quarter Pounder with bacon, that may be the case but the Quarter Pounder doesn’t have Michael Jordan! For those out there that are too young to know who Jordan was then you’re in for a treat. Jordan played for many basketball teams, as well as baseball but we won’t mention that! But where Jordan really made his mark on the NBA was with Chicago Bulls. Winning six NBA championships, including a ‘three-peat,’ Jordan very quickly became the most famous, and richest, sports star on the planet. With his use of slam dunks, he also earned the nicknames ‘Air-Jordan’ and ‘His-Airness.’ While many credited McDonalds with being one of the founding fathers of Fast food, Jordan is considered one of the fathers of modern sports stars. Unfortunately, this team-up didn’t last long, which is a shame as we don’t think it would quite work the same today – we can’t image a Tiger Wood’s burger! Incidentally, a bottle of McJordan Barbecue source sold at auction for nearly $10,000. The man’s name still has some pulling power.
The fast-food game can be a difficult and well, fast-paced, industry to be involved in. With the constant demand and need for new products and innovative combos, it can be a very demanding business. When you’re a world-renowned company such as McDonald’s, especially as they are primarily known for their burgers, it can be difficult to come up with new food items that will please the customers. Back in the early 1990’s McDonalds tried to really rock the boat and bring out something completely different with the McStuffin. The idea was actually a good one; Baked French bread stuffed with fillings of your choice. You could have Cheese, Pepperoni and even Chicken Teriyaki! The idea was truly a bold move for a brand like McDonald’s but unfortunately, the McStuffin never took off. After market testing the product, which didn’t go so well, McDonald’s decided to launch the product anyway, hoping that the public would take to it better. But they didn’t and only a year later this item was taken off the menu for good. We think it’s a shame; with a re-branding, and maybe a name change, we hope to see the McStffin back on the menus in the future.
8. Super Size
There’s a forgotten rule of marketing that goes: if your customers like something, give them more of it. OK, I made that up. I’m not sure if it’s a marketing rule or not. I never studied marketing. I only used my great skills of speculation and deducted that this must have been the logic behind McDonald’s starting a campaign called Supersize. In simple terms; the fast-food chain gave the customers the choice to upgrade their orders of fries and drinks to extra-large size. But why? I can almost hear you ask. The same question was asked of the executive who came up with that idea and their reply was, “because that’s what people want.” Of course, that executive was wrong as was every person who signed up on that campaign. That very idea had such a negative impact on McDonald’s image, it still hasn’t recovered from it. And judging by the number of McDonald’s outlets being shut down worldwide, it’s unlikely that the food giant will recover from it. Shortly after the supersize option hit the street, a documentary called Super Size Me hit the theatres, TV stations or wherever people watch documentaries. In it, a person named Morgan Spurlock tried to eat McDonald’s food for 30 days. You can only imagine what happened to the poor guy who underwent this torture. His body, health, and wellbeing underwent some awful changes. What the people saw convinced them that having too much of McDonald’s fries and beverages wasn’t such a good idea after all. The company came to the same conclusion and discontinued the campaign shortly after.
7. Spanish Omelette Bagel
We all know that McDonald’s is at the foreground of fast food when it comes to burgers and fries, but they also lead the way with breakfast. Hash-Brown’s, many varieties of McMuffins and Coffee, McDonald’s has been a staple for many people’s breakfasts for years. We’ve all had those days when we’re rushed for work, miss breakfast and therefore have to go into our nearest McDonalds for something fast and tasty to start our day. McDonald’s has corned the market on this. Spending years crafting out the perfect breakfast menu can be difficult, and it took McDonald’s a few tries to really get it right. We know, it’s hard to imagine the world without a Sausage and Egg McMuffin, but there was a time when there wasn’t. So you can forgive McDonald’s if they can be tentative to change or introduce new items to their now popular breakfast menu. However, back in the early 2000s, The Golden Arches decided to add an extra breakfast choice; The Spanish Omelette Bagel. in theory, this was actually a safe choice for the breakfast menus as it was essentially a Bagel with egg. Of course, there were extras like Ham, onions, and spices, but the Spanish Omelette Bagel should have been a real winner. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. We don’t really know why the public didn’t take to this but shortly after it was released the Spanish Omelette Bagel was taken off the menu.
6. Eggs Benedict McMuffin
As we’ve seen from this list already, it can be very difficult to introduce new products to a popular and well-established menu. Sometimes those products really fly with the public and quickly become part of our regular take-out routines, and other times they bomb so hard that they quickly disappear from the menu as if they’d never existed. With that in mind, there can be a lot of pressure on those who have to make the choice on what to include and what to pass. So, when those people are thinking of new breakfast items and ideas, what better than Eggs Benedict. This classic dish has been a staple giant in the breakfast world since it’s creation over a hundred years ago. What better item to add to a breakfast menu? And it should be simple, right? unfortunately for McDonald’s both answers were no. In principle this should have been a real winner; you take the Muffin, pouch, and egg and cover it in Hollandaise sauce, then just add in some bacon or ham. The first problem that McDonald’s had was the very simple poached egg. Because of the specific timing that was needed to pouch the perfect egg, McDonald’s couldn’t cook them faster enough in testing so they used their egg form the traditional McMuffin. The public didn’t respond well to this and the Eggs Benedict McMuffin was taken off the menu. McDonald’s should, however, be given praise for making their own Hollandaise sauce, which is not an easy thing to do on such a mass scale. The last time this item was seen was on the menu in Taiwan, so there is still some hope that this item will come back, maybe on a new McBrunch menu. If they can perfect the poached egg that it.
5. Strawberry Shortcake McFlurry
It wasn’t just breakfast that fell victim to the unfortunate experimentations of the McDonald’s chefs. The fast-food chain turned it’s attention to its dessert menu. Trying to revamp and add to its already popular items, McDonald’s came up with a new McFurry. It was called the Strawberry Shortcake McFlurry. Although McFlurry’s are already a well established and popular dessert, the public always wants more flavors. Each holiday brings out a special, limited addition, which of course we love! But how about a permanent new flavor that we can enjoy again and again. Unfortunately, the Strawberry Shortcake McFlurry wasn’t the answer. While the idea of that fresh strawberry taste mix with crunchy shortcake sounds amazing, the public didn’t take to it and the Strawberry Shortcake McFlurry didn’t stay around long. In some McDonald’s restaurants you can still get this McFlurry, it seems to be popular in Asia, so maybe there might be demand for it in the west sometime in the future.
4. Triple Double Burger
When you release a new menu item to coincide with the release of a new superhero movie, you better hope not only that your product is good but also that the movie itself becomes a hit. In 1995 Val Kilmer was chosen to play the titular hero in Batman Forever. Nobody knows why Warner Bros had made that peculiar decision, unfortunately for them it wasn’t the most popular of choice! On the other side, McDonald’s was trying to cash in on the expected stunning hit that was to be Batman Forever. It was probably the presence of Tommy Lee Jones as the villain that emboldened them to hitch a ride on the Batman train. The brilliant idea they came up with was the triple-double burger. It had three patties and two slices of cheese. And just to make sure everyone didn’t miss the connection with the movie, they called this mammoth burger, the Superhero Burger. Awesome! Ok, so Batman Forever, and later Batman and Robin, didn’t do so well and almost ended the Batman franchise for good, But the Superhero burger was a great addition to the McDonald’s menu, in our opinion at least. Maybe the burgers were tainted by the disappointing movie sales? Whatever the case may be, McDonald’s should really look at doing the Triple Double Burger again, especially as we are in the golden age of the cinema superhero.
One of the interesting things about fast food is that they don’t really offer a lot of soup. Which we find quite a strange thing. After all, soup is fairly easy and cheap to make. Plus it’s popular. So why don’t they do it? The honest answer is that we don’t know. There are some restaurants out that that offer great take out soup, so why can’t fast food restaurants mass-produce it? Unfortunately, a lot of fast-food chains may have been put off by McDonald’s attempts to do it. The idea was brilliant and so very simple; serve a cup of hot and tasty soup to the people. The results were disastrous for the fast-food giants, so much so that many people regard the McSoup as McDonald’s biggest ever failure! It’s not surprising then that it was very quickly swept under the rug. The real reason for its ultimate failure is probably down to the fact that it WAS Campbell’s soup just poured into a McDonald’s cup. A fact that McDonald’s didn’t try to hide too much. However, with a big rebranding, and care in preparation, the McSoup could really make a big comeback. Especially coming up to winter.
2. Sweet Chili Sauce
If there’s one distinguishing feature about fast food menus, it’s their exquisite sauce. Without the dip, you end up eating practically the same thing in every outlet. This is why McDonald’s R&D budget has a big chunk devoted to the sauce department. As you read this, there is a small army of chefs and their minions working around the clock to come up with different new sauces. We have seen it time and time again. When the company needs to introduce a new menu item in a hurry, they dig up an old item and serve it with a new sauce. It works every time. So now we know the importance of the dip in the fast-food world and we know the resources put into developing new flavors. So why would there be something called sweet chili sauce? Considering the attention given to sauces, such a dip shouldn’t even have existed. Basically this “new” sauce was just your regular duck sauce with an ample amount of chili flakes thrown in. There was nothing new or original about it. That’s why when it first appeared in 2010 it failed to impress anyone.
1. Hot Mustard Sauce
Unlike the previous sauce which fell flat on the palates of the foodies, this one was different. The hot mustard sauce started a little fire in your mouth every time you introduced it to your tongue. It made every morsel you dip into it a delicious bite to devour. It was simply a hot item on the menu and customers couldn’t get enough of it. So why was it discontinued? There’s no satisfying answer for that question. Back in 2015, McDonald’s decided to pull this hot mustard sauce off the menu, much to the dismay of loyal clients. Even today you’ll still find people going into an outlet and ordering the canceled item in the hope it might have been reintroduced again. There are even rumors that certain outlets still offer it. As we said, it’s just a rumor and we couldn’t verify it.