Here today, gone tomorrow. This is the fate of new product launches from the top fast food companies that didn’t meet with the public’s approval even after millions of dollars spent in advertising. The fast food is the USA’s biggest contribution to world cuisine. But although some of these bold culinary inventions attain mythical following among the globe’s masses, somehow, they still manage to become epic failures. So here, at last, are your definitive top 10 fast failures that you can consider either well-deserved or a major heartbreak for your culinary cravings.
10. Krispy Kreme Donut Trips and Falls in Canada
Snow or no snow, the Canadian market is definitely Krispy Kreme’s Achilles heel. That old fashioned, crispy, and heavenly sweet doughnut that literally melts in your mouth definitely caught fire everywhere it went. Unfortunately, not in Canada, and to be specific about it, not in the province of Ontario. Here, Krispy Kreme was confident to open up stores way back in 2001 but it was confronted with a young population waking up to the dangers posed by having too much sugar in the diet. The stores quickly closed shop and sent Krispy Kreme crews packing their bags. By January 2005 according to CBC News, six of 18 Krispy Kreme stores had closed due to sagging demand. Of course, Canadian sweet tooth loyalists continue to play hardball. After all, many Canadians have been used to the Tim Hortons coffee double-double and the sinful doughnuts as well. However, all things considered, it was a losing battle. On April 15, 2005, Kremeko Inc., the company that brought the American legend north of the border had filed for bankruptcy protection. And it was a point of no return from there.
The fact remains, anyone with a sugar craving in Canada can still order the doughnut that feels like sugar cotton to the mouth. The overall fascination for Krispy Kreme, however, would prove to be short-lived if not non-existent. The hard lesson is definitely a sobering message for America’s legendary fast food companies. As Sears, one of the USA’s dominant fashion retailers has learned, Canadian markets are a totally different animal. While you would think that something like the Krispy Kreme debacle can only happen on the European continent, consumer rejection can be so much closer to home for American fast food companies. Apparently, even giving away free doughnuts wasn’t enough to win customers. But maybe, just maybe, the practice of giving away a box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts to every crew member working a shift was a bad idea for the Canadian market? It’s also possible that things were done in haste such as entering the Canadian market without doing any thorough market study or research. But as the second biggest fast food failure of all time will show, even the most expensive marketing campaigns or market studies won’t save a fast food company. It all depends on how consumers react. And these days, there’s just no sure way of predicting how the wind blows.
9. McLobster Roll & Other McDonald’s Fast Food Sins
For those of you who were born yesterday, you’d think that McLobster, McSpaghetti, McPizza, McHotDog, McPizza, Arch Deluxe Burger, Mighty Wings, McLean Deluxe, McDonald’s Fajitas or even for that matter, the McDLT are nothing but urban legends. In truth, however, all these fast food inventions were once served on the dining tables or off the drive-throughs of the biggest fast food chain of America. Yes, Virginia, even McDonald’s can fail, and can do so in an epic fashion. No one is exempt from the failure syndrome and definitely not even if you spent close to a billion US dollars in market research or advertising. Consumer behavior is simply too hard to predict even with the most sophisticated or the most modern market barometers. So are you looking right now, with your eyes wide open, at the sheer number of Mickey D’s epic fails? Don’t blame the big yellow arch. Rather, praise it for the company’s bravery and tenacity against all odds. I still haven’t forgiven McDonald’s for making its cash cow–you guessed right–the Big Mac, looking dehydrated most of the time.
The total number of the most famous fast food maker’s fails is simply incomparable. So now who’s obese? The American people, of course, who are evidently suffering from the worst kind of obesity epidemic unparalleled in human history. Still, it’s not fair to blame the fast food companies. After all, it’s not them biting the hook, you know. Not everything is a fail, though, as far as McLobster is concerned. For instance, there are isolated reports that in Halifax, the lobster town of the Canadian Maritimes province, McLobster is still served during summer. This is understandable since seafood is one of the city’s top exports. So it’s only fitting for a sandwich overflowing with lobster chops to be offered whenever possible. Unfortunately, according to discriminating Halifax lobster eaters, they’d rather stay away from the McLobster because there’s no real lobster in there.