McDonald’s expands menu, appeal

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Jason Harward, graphics editor

McDonald’s has always searched for something that can compliment its burgers and (addictive) fries. However, some of these “trending” innovations fail to make their mark on consumers. Could I interest you in a McHotDog, or maybe a McLobster? No, I probably couldn’t.

To diversify its menu in the health-crazed society we live in today, while also avoiding a marketing failure like the aforementioned products, McDonald’s has created a new line of foods that are healthy. Relatively speaking, of course.

Once the king of the unhealthy, McDonald’s has run a huge advertising campaign to convince consumers they’re the exact opposite. And they’re telling the truth, assuming consumers don’t buy (just one little) order of fries.

The Southwest Salad, part of a new line of salads at McDonald’s, combines black bean and lime flavors with grilled chicken and a blend of romaine lettuce, baby spinach and baby kale. And, according to McDonald’s nutritional information, it will cost you only 330 calories alongside 33 grams of protein.

But, most importantly for the newcomer to McDonald’s storied lineup, it tastes good. The flavors are good and all, but the star of the dish is the incredibly good chicken. And the rest tastes like a solid salad, one that comes out of a cafe, not McCafe. Instead of just making something they can point to as “health-conscious,” McDonald’s has created a salad that is here to stay.

Another market that McDonald’s has spread its famous Golden Arches to is the high-quality taste market. The Taste-Crafted Burger Line is McDonald’s newest creation, and it’s pretty, well, average. Inspired by “California” tastes, including Buffalo Bacon and Pico Guacamole, the TC line is McDonald’s attempt at creating a restaurant-like atmosphere while still being fast food. However, the TC Burgers underwhelm tremendously, due in part to the fact that McDonald’s still has little intention of ascending to “restaurant” quality.

The Buffalo Bacon Burger is an interesting idea, combining two American favorites- wings and burgers. I’m sure it would be a great burger if I could taste it. Instead, McDonald’s uses a barrage of sauces to create a weird sensation of knowing you’re eating a burger, but questioning if you truly are. And, on a darker note, I tasted no bacon.

All in all, McDonald’s innovation toward a more sophisticated brand is working. With commercials showing more selfies, and decidedly less Ronald McDonald, the McDonald’s of old is just that: a thing of the past.

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