Everyone is familiar with McDonald's iconic French fries--those delectable hot slivers of crispy potato that taste amazing hot out of the fryer. And, just when you thought that those fries would never change, it appears you might have thought wrong.
According to a Friday report in QSR magazine, McDonald's has brought an entirely new kind of French fry to its global headquarters restaurant in Chicago:
Sweet potato fries.
As it turns out, sweet potato fries are not new to McDonald's--they have been available in the Netherlands for some time. However, they are new to this country and they can now be purchased as a side order to any other McDonald's items sold at the global headquarters restaurant.
While I'm personally not a fan--I much prefer the standard fries--many people (including my wife and kids) think that sweet potato fries are all that and more. In addition, sweet potatoes are marginally healthier than regular potatoes (they have more fiber and rate a bit lower on the glycemic index), which is a bonus.
While it's not yet known whether sweet potato fries will be introduced more widely, given their popularity, I personally wouldn't be surprised if they one day land on the menu of every McDonald's restaurant in the United States.
This potential move by McDonald's follows others that were recently introduced or are still in the works.
According to a report by Crain's Chicago Business, Impossible Foods--one of the leading manufacturers of plant-based burgers--"is teaming up with a local food manufacturer that is a key supplier for McDonald's." This would seem to indicate that McDonald's is making plans to introduce its own meatless burger in the company's U.S.-based restaurants--likely within the next year or so.
McDonald's has been selling meat-free burgers for some time...in Europe. After testing in Sweden during fall 2017, the McVegan burger--featuring a soy-based patty that was created by McDonald's with Swedish vegan food company Anamma--the item was permanently added to the menu of McDonald's restaurants in Finland and Sweden in December 2017.
According to news reports, 150,000 of the vegan burgers were sold in just one month. And in January 2019, McDonald's introduced a vegan McFalafel in Sweden, meatless "chicken" nuggets in Norway, and a vegan Spicy Veggie Wrap in the U.K.
And, of course, it was also recently reported that McDonald's is going to make a stunning change to its menu--introducing four new international items to its U.S.-based menu, beginning next summer. This move comes on the heels of McDonald's very successful introduction of its Worldwide Favorites Menu, which included offerings from Spain, Canada, Australia, and the Netherlands.
More specifically, the four new items in the Worldwide Favorites Menu 2.0 are expected to include:
- Savory Ranch Burger (Mexico)
- Grand Premium Chicken Sandwich (France)
- McChicken McMuffin (Japan)
- Caramel Brownie McFlurry (Canada)
According to reports, the new Worldwide Favorites Menu 2.0 will be initially tested in approximately 100 Connecticut-based McDonald's restaurants sometime this month. If successful, the new items will go on sale nationwide next summer.
In any case, it's clear that McDonald's continues to innovate its food offerings to stay one step ahead of the competition. We'll see if these new sweet potato fries make it out of the test kitchen and into the kitchens of the 14,000 or so McDonald's restaurants across the country.