Here’s when McDonald’s is bringing back the Shamrock Shake
Shamrock Shake and the Oreo Shamrock McFlurry returns on February 15.
The creator of the fried chicken sandwich is changing things up with a grilled version. The Grilled Spicy Chicken Deluxe Sandwich is its first new chicken sandwich in nearly two years and has its own specially created Cilantro Lime Sauce.
"We know guests are looking to add more variety to their meals, especially after a year where new food experiences were limited," said Leslie Neslage, director of menu and packaging at Chick-fil-A, in an acknowledgment that last year's start of the pandemic complicated menu debuts.
Despite the frigid temperatures, cold drinks continue to be a success for the coffee chain. Starbucks said sales of the icy concoctions have grown 45% over the past four years, which has prompted it to unveil another cold drink.
This month, the Honey Almondmilk Cold Brew, was added to menus -- a new drink that also capitalizes on the growth of non-dairy milks.
The pizza chain added two new items this month: A crusty ring of cheese-stuffed dough called the Nothing But Stuffed Crust and a Detroit-style pizza.
Competition among big chains has been fierce during the pandemic, which has fueled a surge in pizza demand from Americans who are spending more time at home and avoiding dine-in restaurants. Pizza Hut hopes the new menu items sustain last year's growth, a trend that's likely to continue.
"What we saw in 2020 was that many of these pizza delivery guys had a big boom in their sales because there was nowhere else to go," Peter Saleh, a restaurant analyst with research firm BTIG, previously told CNN Business. He predicts pizza sales will remain healthy in 2021 as the "environment for dining continues to be challenged."
Chipotle added cauliflower rice to its menu as customers' tastes keep shifting toward healthier options, including low-carb or more plant-based alternatives. The rice alternative, which costs $2 extra, was tested last summer before making its nationwide debut earlier this month.
As if there weren't enough options for a basic fried chicken sandwich, Boston Market is here to up the ante.
The Nashville Hot Crispy Chicken Sandwich is now being sold for a limited time, with a confident company saying that the "chicken sandwich wars are over." It gets its spiciness from a hot sauce that "perfectly blends cayenne pepper and chili powder with sugar, garlic and a handful of secret spices."
St. Patrick’s Day is several weeks away, but McDonald’s is already getting ready with the arrival of the Shamrock Shake.
Beginning Feb. 15, the fan-favorite milkshake as well as an Oreo Shamrock McFlurry will go on sale at US restaurants for a limited time. These temporary offerings, which include not only holiday items but also specials such as the McRib and celebrity meals, help McDonald’s create buzz and boost sales.
McDonald’s first started selling the Shamrock Shake in 1970. Over the years, the burger chain has brought back the original as well as variations like the “Shamrock Sundae” in 1980, a chocolate version in 2017 and the Oreo Shamrock McFlurry in 2020. The Shamrock Shake first went on sale nationally in 2012.
Fast food chains are constantly competing for customers’ dollars and attention, and specialty offerings are a way to try to cut through the noise.
McDonald’s has unveiled lots of items in this category in recent months, including spicy chicken nuggets and celebrity meal deals with singers J. Balvin and Travis Scott. The offerings create “menu excitement that keeps customers engaged,” CEO Chris Kempczinski said on McDonald’s most recent earnings call. Sales at US restaurants open at least a year rose 5.5% in the fourth quarter compared to the year prior.
The Shamrock Shake is part of a big month for McDonald’s, which is expected to roll out three new chicken sandwiches on Feb. 24.
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