Since the seventies, McDonald’s has been America’s go-to restaurant for anyone looking for a quick and delicious breakfast. Whether you need to grab something quick before work or are looking for a pick-me-up after a night of partying, McD’s always has your back. Recently, the revamped their breakfast menu, adding a new and exciting item they dubbed “Donut Sticks.” Today, we bring to you a list of everything you could ever want to know about this new addition to a classic menu.
10. An Innovative Sales Boost
McDonalds is a business, and, like any other, they’re always experimenting with new strategies to increase their revenue. At its core, that was the motivation behind Donut Sticks. Many people eat breakfast at home and save their restaurant trips for lunch or dinner. As a result, many fast food chains find that morning sales leave something to be desired. While they did increase by one percent in 2018, they’re still not up to standard. McDonald’s is attempting to overcome this hurdle with the promise of this early morning treat. The strategy is that it will draw people to the restaurant earlier in the day, which will subsequently give morning sales the boost they need. Throughout 2018, Donut Sticks had a two trial runs at select McDonald’s locations in the United States. After the initial run, they tweaked some elements of the recipe slightly. The second run, which took place in October in Illinois, was a success. McDonald’s took the positive feedback as a sign that they had perfected the recipe, and that Donut Sticks were good enough to keep customers coming back to purchase them time and time again. They decided that Donut Sticks were ready for their official unveiling, which took place on February 20, 2019. Here’s to hoping that Donut Sticks do their job and help breakfast sales gain the momentum they require!
9. It’s Basically a Churro
So, what exactly are Donut Sticks? While their name says donut, their actual appearance says churro. While they definitely aren’t churros, they do have certain elements in common. For starters, they’re made of fried dough, and then there’s the fact that they’re coated with a dusting of cinnamon sugar. They differ from churros in shape, as Donut Sticks are more similar in size and thickness to a potato wedge. This pastry is flaky and airy, and light enough for your stomach to handle early in the morning. That’s a good thing, because they come in sets of six or twelve. Since they’re so light and delicious, you’ll have no problem eating six of these on your own. As for their texture, the outside has a bit of crispiness to it, while the interior is soft and chewy. It’s understandable if your mouth is watering by this point. They sound pretty incredible. All in all, despite their name, maybe don’t purchase Donut Sticks expecting the traditional donut experience, because that’s not really what you’ll get. There’s maybe some overlap in flavor, but overall, they’re pretty different. However, that doesn’t mean that they’re not totally delicious.
8. Premium Pricing
You might be wondering just how much bang for your buck you’re getting when you purchase McDonald’s Donut Sticks. The answer? A whole lot. You don’t have to worry about spending an arm and a leg in order to get your hands on some of these. As previously stated, these baked goods can be purchased in sets of six or twelve. While prices vary from location to location, but, judging by the national average prices, even the higher priced Donut Sticks won’t set you back much at all. On average, a pack of six will cost you only $1.69, while twelve Donut Sticks are priced at a mere $3.29. Even better, you can actually take advantage of a special deal if you purchase a coffee along with half a dozen Donut Sticks. The average price for a small coffee and six Donut Sticks is $2.59. It’s an absolute steal. There’s a reason why McDonald’s is so popular among college students; items on their menu are typically reasonably priced. Everyone should be happy to hear that this new addition will be no exception. At this point, there are really no excuses not to go try out Donut Sticks for yourself.
7. Limited Time Only
Another reason why you should definitely go out and buy yourself some McDonald’s Donut Sticks as soon as humanly possibly is that they are only available for a limited time only. They premiered on February 20, 2019, and who knows how long they’ll last. This is another way in which McDonald’s is attempting to boost their breakfast sales. Historically, limited edition food items have had positive effects on the fast food chain’s revenue, and it’s clear that that what McDonald’s is hoping for here. They might be pitched as limited edition, but take that statement with a grain of salt. It’s not ridiculous to assume that there are good odds of Donut Sticks becoming a permanent item on the McDonald’s menu. Of course, this all depends on how popular they are, but their light and airy texture, combined with their sweet cinnamon sugar coating make them a nice balance for the other items on the breakfast menu, which are typically savory and much heavier. It also doesn’t hurt that they pair perfectly with coffee, which is, of course, the superior breakfast beverage. Definitely don’t sleep on Donut Sticks, as it’s entirely possible that McDonald’s meant it when they said they were limited edition, but also don’t be surprised if they do end up becoming a staple item on the menu.
6. In the A.M.
Like many other fast food restaurants, McDonald’s is struggling when it comes to breakfast sales. A few years ago, McDonald’s made the decision to make their breakfast menu available all day long. While many of us can’t imagine going back to a time when we can’t get a breakfast muffin at two in the afternoon, this wasn’t necessarily the best financial move for the restaurant. Naturally, this led already mediocre sales in the morning hours to drop even lower. The fact that everyone’s favorite breakfast foods are now available at all times of day doesn’t provide much incentive to get out of bed early to do a before-work breakfast run. Forced to come up with a solution to this dilemma, McDonald’s has decided to make a bunch of changes, some of which involve their menu. Enter Donut Sticks. These cinnamon sugar covered pastries are a true breakfast food, as they’re only sold until about 10:30 a.m. Donut Sticks are made fresh each morning, so you’re guaranteed that they will still be warm and soft when you pick them up. This is important because the idea of a cold Donut Stick doesn’t really do much for our appetites. All this to say, if you’re not an early riser, you might want to learn to be one. Because you really don’t want to miss out on Donut Sticks.
5. Everything’s Better with Coffee
Caffeine is the unofficial sixth food group, and it’s an objective fact that it makes everything better. The general consensus is that it pairs fabulously with Donut Sticks. This is – surprise, surprise – another tactic to boost morning sales. Many of us are unable to function without our morning coffee and will drop by our local McD’s to pick one up before school or work. That’s where this special deal comes in. Many participating McDonald’s locations offer a discount when you buy a small filtered coffee and six Donut Sticks. The national average in the United States is $2.59, which will save you about ten cents. That definitely adds up if you’re a frequent customer! In some restaurants, they might be even cheaper than that – one report has the pairing listed at the insanely low price of $1.99! Sure, this pairing is a financially sound one, but does it work in terms of taste? The reviews would have us believe it does. In fact, many people are going as far as to dunk their Donut Sticks into their coffee! It’s definitely a matter of taste, but reportedly it makes them taste even better. So next time you stop by McDonald’s to grab a morning cup of joe, maybe consider treating yourself to some Donut Sticks as well. Another interesting coffee-themed tidbit is that not only is McDonald’s encouraging the pairing of baked goods and coffee, they’re actually making McCafé themed desserts! Some locations have been experimenting with coffeecakes and coffee-flavored muffins. What a time to be alive.
4. Be My Valentine
Swap out the cinnamon hearts for cinnamon covered Donut Sticks! These pastries might not be heart-shaped, but they do have a very special tie to Valentine’s Day. While the official release date of Donut Sticks was February 20, 2019, select locations actually released them a few days early, on the fourteenth of the month. They were served for that one day, and that one day only, in honor of the holiday. This way, people could treat their loved ones to these new and delicious pastries. There’s nothing like good food and good company – it’s cheesy, but it’s true. There’s really no better way to kick off your day. On Valentine’s Day, Donut Sticks could make sharing a meal with a loved one all the more fun, since they were a never-before-seen food item. Alternatively, if you happened to hit up McDonald’s solo, you could treat yourself to Donut Sticks as an act of self-love, because that’s important too. Single or not, this Valentine’s Day promotion was a great one. Not only was it a great way to celebrate the day, but this special release of Donut Sticks was absolutely a clever advertisement technique. If you missed out on this special promotional release, don’t worry, you still have plenty of time to try Donut Sticks before their run comes to an end.
3. The McDonald’s Bakery
While Donut Sticks are arguably the most exciting addition to the McDonald’s breakfast menu, they aren’t the only new product being released. In fact, McDonald’s is releasing an entire chain of baked goods! What items are joining Donut Sticks in the McDonald’s Bakery? First, there’s the traditional Chocolate Chip Cookie. Sure, it’s simple, but you really can’t go wrong with the chewy, chocolatey goodness of the Chocolate Chip Cookie. It’s a classic for a reason. Plus, they needed something more conventional to balance out the novelty of Donut Sticks. The other delicious bakery item is Baked Apple Pie. The Apple Pie is interesting, because, while it has all the ingredients and same great flavor as a regular slice of apple pie, it resembles a rather large apple turnover. Basically, it’s the light, flaky crust covers the entire serving, which was a smart move, as it minimizes the mess. While these other pastries are delicious in their own right, they are substantially heavier than Donut Sticks. They definitely make for better desserts than morning snacks. The fact that Donut Sticks are so light is really what makes them so perfect for anyone craving something sweet around breakfast time. McDonald’s will be making some other changes to their menu in order to improve sales, and we’re definitely hoping that these changes involve adding more baked goods, because, so far, they’ve been a hit.
2. The Dunkin’ Donuts Controversy
If you’re a fast food aficionado, you may have noticed that McDonald’s Donut Sticks have a lot in common with another fast food company’s donut themed snack…That of course is Dunkin’ Donuts’ Donut Fries. Donut Fries were released in June 2018, and while it may seem like McDonald’s is ripping off the chain’s idea, McD’s claims they were working to develop Donut Sticks long before Donut Fries came out. Either way, you can’t help but compare the two. Whether you prefer one over the other probably comes down to personal taste, so there’s no harm in trying both to see where you land. When McDonald’s announced this new product in January, Dunkin’ shot back, saying they weren’t surprise McDonald’s was taking inspiration from their menu. Presumably, McDonald’s doesn’t love the insinuation, but a little healthy competition isn’t something anyone in the fast food industry is a stranger to. The prices of the respective restaurants’ items are pretty comparable, especially if you look at the prices of a coffee and pastry combo. Like McDonald’s, Dunkin’ has been doubling down on their breakfast menu in an attempt to boost their morning sales, but, unlike McDonald’s, they didn’t make their oddly-shaped donuts a breakfast specialty. So, McDonald’s definitely gets points for creativity there.
1. The Verdict
After reading the previous nine entries on this list, you must be wondering whether or not Donut Sticks are everything they’re cracked up to be. Do they actually have what it takes to increase McDonald’s breakfast sales? Or are they a total flop? Initial reports seem to be overwhelmingly positive. Donut Sticks appear to be delivering everything they promised they would. They are light, fluffy and sweet. Even McDonald’s suggested pairing of Donut Sticks and freshly brewed coffee seems to be going over well. From the looks of it, there’s no false advertising here. It took a lot of development, and experimenting with different shapes and consistencies, but all the hard work paid off in the end. Broadening the scope of the breakfast menu is a great move, and Donut Sticks definitely add a fresh twist. Keep in mind that, even though Donut Sticks are marketed as a breakfast food, some people still might find them a bit too sugary for early in the morning. This is especially true of those who don’t have much of a sweet tooth. In the end, it really just comes down to personal taste. The reviews may be generally positive, but we can’t tell you what to think about Donut Sticks. The only way to find out how you feel is by trying them! Now that Donut Sticks are finally available for all to enjoy, we definitely recommend you head to a participating location near you and purchase some for yourself. Then you can see where your opinion falls.