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Nine Mcdonald’s Products That Actually Flopped

Published by Blessie Adlaon in Food
November 7th, 2008

McDonald’s is a giant success in the food industry. Still, not everything Ray Kroc touches turns to gold. Here are some of the Golden Arches’ products that didn’t turn out to be golden after all.

When it comes to fast food success, nothing beats McDonald’s. They seem to have found the magic touch for capturing that taste buds of people all over the world, even in countries that don’t eat beef, like India, or those that prefer rice, like the entire Asian region.

But contrary to popular belief, not everything sold under the Golden Arches sells.  Here are nine true-to-life McDonald’s products that actually flopped!

1. Hulaburger. The big tragedy of this one was that it was such a favorite of Ray Kroc. He invented it himself to cater to Roman Catholics who avoided meat on Fridays. So Kroc took the meat out of the cheeseburger and replaced it with – guess what? – a pineapple! It was tested in 1963 and, well, it failed dismally. Eventually, McDonald’s decided to promote the Filet-o-Fish instead.

2. Arch Deluxe. After years of selling to children, McDonald’s decided in 1996 to try to sell to adults. So they designed a very “mature” burger, with a quarter pound beef patty, red onions, lettuce, tomato, and a special honey-mustard sauce, all sandwiched inside a potato roll. For a little extra charge, you could be more chic and have peppered bacon added to the pack.

Well, apparently, we McDonald’s lovers aren’t a very chic group after all. The mature honey-mustard sandwiched flopped, while the cheeseburger lives on.

3. Fried Roast Beef Sandwiches. Ooh, roast beef! Sounds good, huh? Can you imagine how something like that could flop? Well, technically, it didn’t.  It’s just that it cost so much to produce, it was bringing the company to the brink of a financial disaster.  It didn’t flop for the customers.  It flopped for McDonald’s.

4. McPizza. In the late 80s and early 90s, the McPizza would have made McDonald’s the ultimate one-stop shop for fastfood. There was just one problem: Pizza isn’t very fast. For people used to zipping in and out of McDonald’s, the waiting time for the pizza to be cooked and served just was too much of a change. Hey, if I wanted to wait, I would have gone to Pizza Hut, right?

5. The Dinner Menu. Tested during the early 1990s, the Dinner Menu featured entrees of pizza, spaghetti, fettucine alfredo, lasagna, and roasted chicken. For side dishes, it had vegetables, mashed potatoes and gravy. And for dessert, there was brownie a la mode.  For the same reason why the Arch Deluxe didn’t click, the Dinner Menu also flopped. I guess class and fast food just don’t mix very well. Give me back my Happy Meal!

6. Chicken Fajitas. This was a small tortilla pocket with grilled chicken and vegetables. Considering how much McDonald’s patrons love Big Macs, I can’t imagine why McDonald’s would think we’d be satisfied with such a tiny thing as this.

7. Salad Shakers. One of McDonald’s efforts to offer fast and healthy food, the salad shakers started out a huge success – until people got tired of scraping the dressing off the covers of their shakers.

8. McAfrica. This pita bread sandwich with beef and veggies didn’t taste bad at all, so I’ve heard. It was just unlucky that it was released in 2002, at a time when Africa was in famine and a lot of people felt it was adding insult to injury – perhaps it would have fared better if it had been differently named.

9. McLean Deluxe. This is the great McDonald’s irony: People criticize it for being unhealthy, but when it comes up with a healthy product, people refuse to buy! Released in 1991, the McLean Deluxe was as disgustingly healthy as a sandwich could get: Ninety-one percent fat free, it replaced fat with water and used seaweed extract to bind the water to the beef. Well people didn’t like the new fat-free burger because, after all, it’s fat that makes burgers taste so good. The healthy McDonald’s burger flopped, which just goes to show how health conscious we McDonald’s eaters really are!

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48 Comments
  1. Posted November 7, 2008 at 6:44 am

    For as much as I loathe Micheal Moore films, “Supersize Me” was amazing, scary and very, very telling. I was most impressed.

    -thestickman

  2. Posted November 7, 2008 at 6:55 am

    Although Im not a Mc lover, with the scale of advertising, you tend to hear of most of their products. I hadn’t heard of any of these before.In some cases thats not really suprising. A pineapple sandwich? No thanks. Good Article

  3. Posted November 7, 2008 at 9:29 am

    Very cool topic. Nicely done. I do remember some of these.

  4. Posted November 7, 2008 at 10:46 am

    nice topic though I believe Mcdo Phils. offers a different set of menu nevertheless this is very informative.

  5. Posted November 7, 2008 at 9:31 pm

    I really liked the salad shakers! But I didn’t eat the salad dressing.

    Blessings.

    Sincerely,

    -Liane Schmidt.

  6. Posted November 7, 2008 at 9:34 pm

    WOW! This is very interesting. I only knew of one in the list.

  7. Posted November 10, 2008 at 5:34 am

    Fun article. I didn’t even know these existed.

  8. Posted November 14, 2008 at 10:57 am

    I miss the McDLT. “The hot stays hot and the cool stays cool,” or whatever it was…

  9. Posted November 17, 2008 at 6:38 am

    Interesting article about the arches. Thank you.

  10. Posted November 20, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    WOW! I hadn’t heard of most of these and I loved your other article on menu items around the world. Awesome.

  11. Tayla
    Posted November 25, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    I miss the pizza!

  12. Trevor
    Posted November 27, 2008 at 10:39 am

    thestickman, it wasn’t a Michael Moore film… smartypants

  13. Nina
    Posted December 5, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    That’s right. Morgan Spurlock was the person behind Supersize Me.

  14. Posted December 12, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    Hi, Beatrice, how are you?
    This is quite the tasty article, thanks for sharing.

  15. chloe
    Posted December 24, 2008 at 10:14 am

    oh man, the mcpizza was sooo good. crust was fantastic. wish you could still get that.

  16. Andrea
    Posted February 14, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    There is one flop on there that’s actually still around. We have the chicken fajitas in Canada and they do pretty well. They sell them in pairs now, rather than singley for the meal deals.

  17. chezzzzza
    Posted February 14, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    I miss the dinner menu, it was good.

  18. Pat
    Posted March 1, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    I agree with Chloe! the Pizza was great. I don’t remember it taking long, though. We used to get it through the drive through and it was still quicker than the nuggets. Oh well, I guess some impatient people blew it!

  19. gary
    Posted April 5, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    i want the pizza back now!

  20. Brittanie
    Posted April 9, 2009 at 11:46 am

    I LOVED the chicken fajitas would travel to get um!!!! they arent served anymore in NH

  21. Posted May 19, 2009 at 2:40 am

    It is a very nice article, did not realise there were such a list of Mcdonald’s products, I have no chance to even try them before they were flopped.

  22. Posted May 22, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    Chicken fajitas and salad shakers…what a walk down memory lane for me!! :)
    I didn’t care about the salad shakers…seemed a bit messy and all…but I used to buy the chicken fajitas frequently because even though they were on the small size, so was the price! I just stopped buying them when it seemed that they were getting smaller and thinner while the price remained the same! :)

  23. Posted June 17, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    i love the salad shakers! lol

  24. Mean Christine
    Posted August 4, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    The Arch Deluxe was my favorite thing ever from McDonalds. Those bastards!!!

  25. me
    Posted August 9, 2009 at 5:28 am

    Morgan Spurlock. He did “Supersize Me’. Not Michael Moore.

  26. loz
    Posted August 9, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    Ah, I remember 4 of those. And I must say out of them the Pizza was my favorite. I was crazy about that pizza. It tasted so good and was a nice change from a greasy burger. You could get small pizza\’s and big pizza\’s at ours. And to the person above mentioning the McDLT, they rocked!!!!! :-) But more than anything I just would like the pizza back!!!!!! lol

  27. Posted August 29, 2009 at 12:35 am

    What a great article. You should really put up some more content.

  28. ChrisS
    Posted October 13, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    I remember every one of those. Then again I live in Test City Central aka Columbus Ohio. Everything that ever made it to a fast food menu used to get tested here. You missed McFriedChicken. I don’t think that was the real name of it but they tried (several times) to do the KFC bit at Micky’Ds. Another one was the McRib, one of my wife’s favs.

    The McLean Deluxe often wasn’t. One of the TV news shows did an exposé and it turns out that 80% of the time they just used a normal hamburger patty. This was done by managers at various McDonald’s due to the lower cost of a regular patty.

  29. Jack
    Posted October 27, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    Well, the McRib did flopped, they do serve them in Hong Kong from time to time as ’special limited time offer’…

  30. Annette
    Posted October 29, 2009 at 1:10 am

    Ide like to try this pizza everyone is so excited about.

  31. Posted December 22, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    wow..i like McDonald.. Thanks for sharing. Great info.

  32. Wolfsbane
    Posted January 6, 2010 at 7:15 am

    The McDLT’s were good. What was great about them is that they featured the Quarter Pounder patty but cost less.

  33. Francis
    Posted January 9, 2010 at 8:53 am

    Whats funny about supersize me is this, people forget that the guy sought out the worst foods on te menu and TRIED to gain weight that was a his intent. Now dont get me wrong Mcdonalds aint health food. Noone goes into one for 30 days straight and eats there 3 times a day the worse possiable food on the menu and expects it to e healthy.

    I got to Mcdonalds maye once a week and thats fine. cause thats what most of us do. But Super Size Me was such a blatant attack like any of Moore’s films. You can prove the best or worst of anything if your trying hard enough.

  34. Dawn
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    Bring back the McDLT!!! I loved that sandwich!!

  35. Cassy
    Posted April 16, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    Hi!
    Juste to tell you here in Canada there’s still Chicken Fajitas meal that come with 2 sandwiches and 2 hot sauce ;)

  36. Gopher
    Posted June 18, 2010 at 8:09 am

    I have a vague memory of McPloughmans in the UK, A Ploughmans lunch is served in some pubs and is a salad, crusty bread cheese and usually ham.

    McDonalds tried this in prepackaged packs.

  37. Jason
    Posted October 13, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    Six years ago I was in Bishop, CA and they were still serving McPizza’s…

  38. Melissa
    Posted November 23, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    Francis:
    The point of the film was to show the diet of the average McDonald\’s consumer, therefore Spurlock wouldn\’t have gotten a salad and a water every day. In his investigation Spurlock consumed every menu item at least once and even traveled to different states such as Texas to try menu items that aren\’t offered elsewhere. The only reason he only ate at McDonald\’s for 30 days was due to the results of the legal claims charged against McDonald\’s by 2 overweight girls. At the end of the trial the judge concluded that their case was not successful because they couldn\’t prove that eating only McDonald\’s food was harmful to their health and general well-being since their meal pattern was a combination of McDonald\’s and other food products. Consequently, Spurlock was only using fair investigative practices by not consuming products that aren\’t offered at McDonald\’s.
    By the way, this was not a Michael Moore film. Super Size Me was produced by Morgan Spurlock, the main character in the documentary.

  39. Posted June 26, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    What about the Big Xtra, thats a lot like the McArch or whatever

  40. Posted July 1, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    Salad shakers… That sounds questionable. Haha.

    Here are some more weird things you can eat at mcdonalds…

    http://www.best5everything.com/best5ListPages/odd-mcdonalds-meals-85029.php

  41. Shae
    Posted September 5, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    I loved the salad shakers :( I ordered them as a kid because they were fun and now that I’m older and on a diet (which is rarely much fun) I really wish I could get them again. I had no problem with the dressing in the lid because the salad was still beautifully coated in it. I still use that technique whenever I have a cup and a dome lid like thing. Works great. I also wish they would take another stab at the mclean. If the first attempt was too healthy lets take it back a little. A lean meat with reduced fat cheese and light mayo would be great. Sigh, oh well, guess this is why I should eat out much lol.

  42. Isabelle
    Posted October 28, 2011 at 3:18 am

    I used to love the Big Extra and ordered it at least once a week!
    Also, the Angus Burger on the ciabatta bun was amazing. Why did they change it? Now it is Angus 1/3 pounder or something on regular bun and normal sauce. Boo. Re: banana pie in Peru, we had that in Canada too and it was their best pie ever- it had real banana paste in it, and chocolate. I think what I miss the most though is their chocolate soft-serve. Why in the world would they get rif of that? The vanilla-chocolate twist was my favourite treat.

  43. Terry
    Posted November 1, 2011 at 5:48 am

    I am from the East Coast of Canada. Have to say the McLobster is pretty yummy :)

  44. Woodgod
    Posted December 27, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    @ Melissa: “The point of the film was to show the diet of the average McDonald’s consumer”

    I’m sorry, but the “average” McDonald’s customer doesn’t eat 3 super-upsized meals at McDonald’s everyday (even the rare people who only eat there probably won’t have that much). Nobody is saying that McDonald’s is healthy, and the film does have a few decent points here and there, but that “experiment” was utterly pointless (even a child would know that eating that much fast food isn’t going to have great results). To top it off, the guy was a vegetarian, so switching his diet suddenly was obviously going to have more visible effects. He could have been eating steaks at “proper” restaurants and still have come out bad. Hell, the fact that he even managed to return to health is almost like a promotion for their food. My brother has a cheeseburger nearly everyday and he’s absolutely skinny. There are various factors involved, and blaming a company for your own irresponsibility is moronic.

  45. Kelly
    Posted January 24, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    why isnt the mcrib on here? EWWWWW

  46. Kelly
    Posted January 24, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    why isnt the mcrib on here? EWWWWW

  47. Kelly
    Posted January 24, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    why isnt the mcrib on here? EWWWWW

  48. Pikkewyn
    Posted January 27, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    Kelly, because the McRib isn’t really gone. They bring it back now and then for fans to get their fill, but stop selling it before people get tired of it. I saw a place in Charlotte selling it about a month ago.

    Now, read my answer three times so all your questions will be answered.

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