Yum! Brands (YUM) – Get yum! Report Brands Inc. Taco Bell used to use the slogan “think outside the bun” to highlight how its Mexican menu differed from the sandwiches offered by McDonald’s (MCD) – Get the McDonald’s Corporation reportWendy’s (MAGNIFYING GLASS) – Get the Wendy’s Company report (The)and Restaurant Brands International (RSQ) – Get the report from Restaurant Brands International Inc. Burger King.
The fast-food chain wanted customers to accept the idea that they could get something different at Taco Bell, and more recently the chain experimented with the idea by literally using a piece of fried chicken as a taco. It’s an idea it borrowed from sister company KFC, which used two pieces of fried chicken as bread on its famous (and often ridiculed) KFC Double Down.
And while the Naked Chicken Chalupa and the Double Down were both successful, perhaps their biggest contribution was that they changed the idea of how you might serve a sandwich (or sandwich-like product) . This led to the obvious – breadless bowls are popping up all over Chipotle (GCM) – Get the report from Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. to the weird pizza bowls offered by Marcos Pizza – and to some less obvious attempts to use bread alternatives to hold a sandwich.
It’s a concept that McDonald’s has embraced in a way that could (eventually) become a global sensation.
McDonald’s has a new twist on sandwich buns
McDonald’s tends to be the most innovative outside of the United States. Its locations in Japan introduced a unique version of sandwich bread in 2000. Since then, the company has introduced all sorts of variations of its Gohan line that Sora News 24 Explained.
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“It wasn’t until last year that they finally started offering rice burgers. A kind of sandwich/rice ball hybrid, rice burgers replace the burger buns with two discs of rice, lightly grilled to give them a bit more texture and consistency and brushed with a soy glaze,” the website reported.
The fast food chain has turned in a bunch of varieties of sandwiches using the rice rolls. It currently offers Gohan Chicken Garlic Bacon, Gohan Shrimp Spicy Flavor and Gohan Teriyaki.
In the past, it offered the Gohan Chiken Ninniku Kuro Kosho, which includes rice buns, a crispy breaded chicken breast patty sandwiched inside rice with a slice of cheddar cheese, lettuce, and a garlic and black pepper sauce. McDonald’s also sometimes offered the “Delicious Spicy Shrimp Rice Burger (Gohan Ebi Umakara Shitate)”. akatogarashi, Japanese red pepper,” Sora News 24 reported.
Could McDonald’s Rice Buns come to the United States?
While the rice buns may not immediately appeal to American tastes, it’s possible the chain is planning to adapt the Gohan to its home market. The Japanese version contains wheat, so it is not gluten-free. This could easily be changed as the rice itself is gluten free (there is probably some wheat in the breading of the “bun”.
Americans have generally not responded well to gluten-free offerings from fast-food chains. That’s probably because most gluten-free buns are poor substitutes for the real thing. In this case, with a few recipe changes, McDonald’s might be able to go gluten-free in a more natural way than offering a gluten-free bun (which some chains have tried).
However, being healthy (or at least the vague appearance of being healthy) has not been a hit for McDonald’s. The chain has ditched all of its salads and its Planet McPlant-based burger option has largely been a failure in the US