Dessert may seem like an afterthought to some of us when we grab fast food for lunch or dinner. But don’t underestimate how much these little additions can bring to big fast food chains.
Wendy’s (MAGNIFYING GLASS) – Get Wendy’s Corporate Report Frosty, for example, has been served since 1969 with virtually no change beyond price. It was 35 cents in 1969 and today it’s 99 cents, which is still reasonable considering how much inflation has driven up our food costs today.
Taco Bell’s (YUM) – Get yum! Report Brands, Inc. cinnamon twists have also been around since the 80s, which should tell you how much customers love these rice and flour fried puffs and their not-too-sweet sugar coating.
These seem to have nothing to do with Mexican-inspired food, but they do work somehow (much better than the Choco Taco, which is apparently making a nostalgia-fueled comeback This year).
Other chains like Restaurant Brands’ (RSQ) – Get the Restaurant Brands International Inc report Burger King takes a different route with desserts, favoring a rotating menu of pie slices rather than relying on a signature classic. And while most of us have probably had one of these pies at one time or another, they just don’t have the same legendary status as a Frosty.
The fast food industry is betting big on an unusual flavor that will become a customer favorite this spring. And while it’s certainly tasty, it’s just not something you’d expect to find when driving through the drive-thru.
What’s new on the McDonald’s dessert menu?
McDonald’s is known for its two signature desserts: soft serve ice cream cones (when the machines aren’t broken, that is) and its McFlurry line.
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But the classic fast-food brand is also aiming to innovate with its McCafe Bakery line, which offers treats like pull-apart donuts and apple donuts. And now, a brand new dessert is coming that’s unlike anything you’d typically find at the drive-thru.
This teaser, posted on the McDonald’s Japan Twitter account on April 10, makes it clear that customers can expect to try a banana macaron very soon, perhaps with a dash of maple syrup.
While the flavor is new to McDonald’s, the macaroon itself is not. The chain actually threw them back in 2013 in Australia. McDonald’s Japan currently offers them in green tea, chocolate, vanilla, citron and raspberry. They sell for 170 yen (US$1.35) each.
McDonald’s France also has some and offers a few different flavors to suit the tastes of its customers, including salted butter and pistachio.
McDonald’s never offered the macarons to the American market despite the dessert’s growing popularity in the United States, with some malls even offering dedicated macaron shops. But maybe QSR thinks the dessert won’t appeal to an audience that has preferred fried pies for so long.
Of course, with its profits soaring in 2021, McDonald’s can afford to take risks in this menu venue, so if its bet on bananas doesn’t pan out, it can always try something else in a few months. In the meantime, if it could bring these macaroons to American menus, that profit could be even higher.