McDonald’s is adding three new Quarter Pounders to its menu and phasing out Angus offerings as it looks to focus its attention on one of its most popular brands.
The company says the new burgers will replace its meatier Angus third-pounders, which were among the most expensive items on its menu at around $4 to $5.
The Quarter Pounders will come in two of the same varieties as the Angus burgers, Bacon and Cheese and Deluxe, and Habanero Ranch as well.
The new Quarter Pounder line will use a bun that has eight grams of whole grains, while original Quarter Pounders will stay with their regular bun.
McDonald’s will roll out the new items nationally in mid-June.
Greg Watson, Senior VP of the menu innovation team at McDonald’s, said “Once we created these burgers, we didn’t see the need for the Angus line.
They've been piloted in Toledo and Sacramento, successfully.
The swap for burgers with less meat comes as restaurant chains across the industry face - among many other challenges - rising beef prices.
Those costs are particularly problematic for fast-food chains, known for cheap eats and always wary of scaring away price-conscious customers.
McDonald’s in particular has been going to greater lengths of late to emphasize the affordability of its food in a push to turn around slumping sales.
Watson said that “price was not really a driver” here, but conceded that “the Quarter Pounder will be an even greater value than the Angus burgers.”
Beyond fighting for customers, traditional fast-food chains are also struggling with the more fundamental problem of changing eating habits.
The worry is that people in their 20s and 30s are increasingly opting for more healthy recipes and heading to chains that emphasize higher quality.
Even those who love fast food and are looking for cheap meals out are often drawn to paleo recipes and eschew food they believe is highly processed.
The desire to eat better is reflected in the growth of Subway, which now has about 26,000 U.S. locations and positions itself as a healthier alternative.
To win back its younger customers, McDonald’s recently rolled out its chicken McWraps, all egg-white Egg McMuffins and whole grain muffins.
McDonald’s is hoping such new items and ingredients can boost its slumping sales, which recently fell for the first time in more than a decade.