Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.

Is this a nothingburger?

Traditionalists will worry.

For them, you see, McDonald's represents all that is quintessentially American: Speed, convenience and obesity.

Yet McDonald's is struggling. It can't catch its breath as rivals have surged past it with wily techniques such as freshly-made burgers that taste better.

Same-store visits are down year on year. People are going elsewhere.

So the burger chain has been experimenting with radical changes. It's introduced a Quarter Pounder that is made from, gasp, non-frozen beef.

My Lyft driver in Denver likely still hasn't come down from the high of McDonald's new touchscreen ordering system.

Ray Kroc's baby has even started to fix its ice-cream machines.

Now, however, the whole nation is about to experience something that it never thought it would see: baby kale in a burger.

(I pause for screams of delight from millennials and the strangled ululation of diehards.)

This month, McDonald's Signature Sriracha Sandwich is available nationwide.

It's been tested for a year now and it seems that many Americans are adopting the palate of the bearded, the check-shirted and the extremely self-confident.

Or, perhaps, they just love sriracha sauce and don't realize that the funny green stuff inside the burger is kale. In which case, don't tell them that there's spinach inside too. They might never recover.

The sandwich costs around $5, so it's pricey, but not as a pricey as the $10 coffees that Starbucks is making specially for the younger sorts.

I fear we're still some way from, say, a McDonald's Kaleburger. I also worry that kale might not be all that to millennials anymore.

What if they've left it behind with quinoa and Kombucha and moved on to, I don't know, goat-horn soup and fried quail quills?

That's the problem McDonald's must wrestle with. It's like a vast tanker that takes a long time to turn around, which is awkward when human tastes change with the wind.

Published on: Jul 14, 2017
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