McDonald's launches first new Chicken McNuggets flavor in nearly 40 years

McDonald's is putting a new spin on an old favorite as it tries to lure customers back during the pandemic.

Posted: Aug 25, 2020 4:50 PM
Updated: Aug 25, 2020 5:09 PM

McDonald's is putting a new spin on an old favorite as it tries to lure customers back during the pandemic.

Spicy Chicken McNuggets will hit US restaurants on September 16, for a limited time. It's the first new McNugget flavor in the United States since the item was introduced to the US menu in 1983.

For McDonald's, the new item could be a way to capitalize on America's taste for chicken and create some much-needed buzz.

Brands that have gone big on chicken have been rewarded with great sales and loyalty. Popeyes' wildly popular spicy chicken sandwich has boosted the chain's sales.

System-wide sales at Popeyes restaurants jumped 24% in the three months that ended on June 30 compared to the same period last year. The brand said on its earnings call that the sandwich had been a big contributor.

Chick-fil-A has been growing steadily for years.

And customers have been flocking to KFC. In the United States "we recorded the highest average sales per store in the brand's history during a week in early May," said David Gibbs, CEO of Yum Brands, which owns KFC, during a call with analysts discussing second-quarter financial results. Sales at US KFC restaurants open at least a year jumped 7% in the quarter compared to the same period last year.

McDonald's has plenty of chicken options on its menu, and has tested chicken sandwiches in the past.

The new McNuggets have a breaded tempura coating of cayenne and chili peppers. They come with a Mighty Hot Sauce, which includes a blend of crushed red pepper, spicy chilies and garlic. The Mighty Hot Sauce, also available for a limited time, is the company's first new dipping sauce in three years.

"Our customers have been asking for Spicy McNuggets for some time now," said Linda VanGosen, vice president of menu innovation, in a blog post announcing the new item.

Fast food companies use limited-time items to help build buzz around their brands. Right now, McDonald's could use a boost.

McDonald's total sales fell 30% in the second quarter compared to a year ago, the company said last month. Net income plummeted 68%.

And it is struggling during breakfast. The meal has been impacted by changes to people's morning routines, particularly commuting, the company explained during an analyst call discussing the company's second-quarter results. It doesn't help that Wendy's, which positioned its own new breakfast offerings as superior to McDonald's offerings, is benefiting from its breakfast menu.

Still, McDonald's is hopeful about a turnaround. In April, sales at US locations open at least a year were down 19%. But sales have been improving steadily since then. In June, they were down just 2.3%, and they "trended up" in July, according to Chief Financial Officer Kevin Ozan.

Update: This story has been updated to clarify that the new flavor is a first in the United States.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 590211

Reported Deaths: 9310
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion815581297
Lake44306666
Allen31919541
Hamilton28371304
St. Joseph26766371
Elkhart24098341
Vanderburgh18643213
Tippecanoe17422121
Johnson14496284
Porter14399160
Hendricks13870241
Madison10561212
Vigo10483171
Clark10240130
Monroe9076108
Delaware8836132
LaPorte8771155
Howard7897138
Kosciusko787277
Warrick643890
Hancock638797
Bartholomew626694
Floyd6150105
Wayne5933157
Grant5818110
Dubois544372
Boone534367
Morgan516291
Marshall494184
Henry493664
Cass471760
Noble460557
Dearborn458444
Jackson414745
Shelby402179
Lawrence380575
Clinton364539
Gibson356556
DeKalb337363
Montgomery334851
Harrison328542
Knox327839
Miami309843
Steuben306340
Adams295235
Whitley294125
Wabash293045
Ripley292345
Putnam284847
Huntington283557
Jasper282433
White267538
Daviess261672
Jefferson250738
Fayette242348
Decatur242182
Greene233360
Posey232326
Wells229447
LaGrange224161
Clay217932
Scott216937
Randolph208340
Jennings192535
Sullivan189031
Spencer181917
Fountain179725
Washington177118
Starke171341
Jay162821
Owen159537
Fulton159229
Carroll152115
Orange151433
Rush149918
Perry147227
Vermillion144933
Franklin143433
Parke12908
Tipton128232
Pike113625
Blackford107522
Pulaski95237
Newton89421
Brown85530
Benton84310
Crawford7579
Martin70013
Warren6587
Switzerland6205
Union6113
Ohio4677
Unassigned0374

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 826754

Reported Deaths: 10200
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin97493705
Cuyahoga821781012
Hamilton61350439
Montgomery41700399
Summit33399726
Lucas30111597
Butler29721228
Stark24811400
Warren18917139
Lorain18086212
Mahoning16758335
Lake15365135
Clermont15160104
Delaware1382177
Licking12679132
Trumbull12401302
Fairfield1218480
Greene11631133
Medina11128165
Clark10608264
Wood9964154
Allen9511126
Portage8867105
Miami886573
Richland8790116
Marion7319113
Tuscarawas7142174
Columbiana7085124
Pickaway702850
Wayne6781164
Muskingum671242
Erie5886118
Hancock537890
Ross530287
Scioto519662
Geauga483555
Darke457589
Ashtabula439068
Lawrence432651
Union430628
Mercer424287
Sandusky421862
Seneca413555
Auglaize412759
Huron410338
Shelby410221
Jefferson403366
Belmont395640
Washington372040
Putnam364672
Athens36369
Madison339329
Knox336522
Ashland331738
Fulton325943
Defiance319278
Crawford313268
Preble311534
Brown296619
Logan292729
Ottawa282134
Clinton279043
Williams270166
Highland262418
Jackson256943
Guernsey241725
Champaign240927
Fayette225529
Morrow22294
Perry221318
Holmes218662
Henry210247
Hardin204133
Coshocton197420
Van Wert196644
Gallia190926
Wyandot190549
Adams165615
Pike164116
Hocking163423
Carroll149516
Paulding139021
Noble117840
Meigs103221
Monroe95629
Harrison8568
Morgan79128
Vinton67113
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 20°
Angola
Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 29° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 18°
Huntington
Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 29° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 19°
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 20°
Lima
Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 19°
Seasonal Monday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events