Yesterday USA Today announced that the hamburger giant McDonald’s will expand their line of chicken meals. They first had McChicken sandwiches, McNuggets, McBites and now they may be serving Mighty Wings on their menu. But first the World’s largest hamburger chain must test the waters. They had success in Atlanta now they are going to see how well the wings sell in Chicago.
Lynne Collier, an analyst with Sterne Agee states that the Mighty Wings are served in three, five, or ten pieces commencing at $3.00 for the smallest format.
According to a McDonald’s spokesperson, five hundred restaurants in the Chicago area will be part of the test run. They do not have any plans to launch the wings in other cities at the moment. However, they have not added a new sauce to go with the wings; they will keep their creamy ranch dressing as the default sauce.
“Fast-food chains typically test items in select markets before taking them national. But for McDonald's, which has 14,000 U.S. locations, adding chicken wings to the permanent lineup could be tricky.” “Prices for chicken wings have been climbing over the past year, reflecting an increase in the number of restaurants serving them, said David Harvey, an agriculture economist who specializes in poultry and eggs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In December, the cost of wings in the wholesale market in the Northeast was 26 percent higher than a year ago. Wings sold for $1.90 a pound that month, compared with $1.30 a pound for boneless, skinless chicken breasts.”
According to Collier, McDonald’s will have to get the wings at competitive prices before adding them to the main menu or even offering them on a limited basis. The Mighty Wings will also have to be easily eaten in a car as many of the franchises have drive-thru services.
Some consumers who have already tried the Mighty Wings agree they taste good but they are too expensive costing almost a dollar a wing.
McDonald’s is in strict completion with Burger King and Wendy’s and now new chains are gaining momentum such as Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. and Panera Bread Co., which serve higher-quality food for slightly higher prices.
McDonald’s USA had chicken wings on their menu before but stopped selling them in 2003. How will they compete with chicken chains like KFC or Popeyes?
It may be sometime before McDonald’s Mighty Wings come to Canada if at all. Canadians enjoys Buffalo wings which are served in Montreal restaurants and in different pubs across the nation. Buffalo wings often come with Barbeque sauce and even hotter sauces for the Canadian palette. The Montreal Buffalo Wings restaurants sell 911 and suicide sauce as well as milder sauces to suit every palette. Furthermore, the restaurants also deliver.
Even in America in an era when hot wings are king, McDonald should think about adding a new hot sauce to their chicken wings menu.