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    McDonald's Eyes More Menu Changes as a Business Strategy

    Its new mango pineapple smoothie could lead the way for more international influence.

    CHICAGO -- The addition of the new mango pineapple flavor to McDonald's Real Fruit Smoothie menu may just be the first of several changes to the quick-service restaurant chain’s offerings.

    According to Nation's Restaurant News, restaurant securities analyst Mark Kalinowski of Janney Capital Markets recently met with McDonald's CFO Pete Bensen and said the company is mulling more changes to its menu. And for inspiration, the QSR operator could go international for flavors and timelines for product offerings.

    "McDonald's notes that during a recent meeting it held in Singapore, approximately 180 different menu items were featured," Kalinowski wrote. "Expect more sharing of menu items around the world in the future."

    Examples of that crossover, NRN reported, include Chicken McBites, a popcorn chicken-like dish that originated in the chain’s Australian division and is now being tested in the Detroit market, and full-size wraps, which are common in several European markets and soon will roll out to the United Kingdom.

    Another piece of McDonald's business strategy, which has proven successful in the past, is to rotate menu items. As CSNews Online reported yesterday, McDonald's plans to add more smoothie flavors and rotate some of them in and out of the lineup based on the season.

    "The U.S. is picking up the more rotational tactic, more common to Europe regarding menu items," Kalinowski wrote, meaning limited-time offers and new permanent menu items will start swapping in and out every six to eight weeks. He cited November's national McRib promotion as an example of this. The national McRib offering drove a 4.9-percent gain in same-store sales last November, according to the NRN report.

    "In general," Kalinowski wrote in a research note, "McDonald's seems confident that it can continue to grab additional market share within the quick-service restaurant category in the United States. We view privately held Burger King as a likely source of share gains for McDonald's in the future, as it has been in the recent past."


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