McDonald’s newest fall offering does not include pumpkin or maple flavors. Rather, it’s a throwback to more than three decades ago.
Beginning September 14, the cheese Danish, a flaky pastry filled with creamy cream cheese and topped with a buttery streusel and light vanilla drizzle, will be available again. The limited-time offering is a “fresh take” on a similar pastry that was briefly available in the 1980s, according to McDonald’s.
It’s the latest example of a fast-food corporation using nostalgia to entice customers. Pizza Hut recently went back in time, restoring its 1990s logo. McDonald’s routinely revives the McRib. And Burger King briefly reinstated the Whopper’s original pricing.
The cheese Danish is the latest addition to the McCafé bakery collection, launched in 2020 to help boost the brand’s lagging morning revenues. The cheese Danish, like its other bakery goods such as an apple fritter, a blueberry muffin, and a cinnamon roll, is available all day.
Changing its breakfast menu has helped McDonald’s turn around sales during this critical time, especially while competitors increase theirs. Wendy’s just introduced french toast sticks, a nostalgic snack for children as they return to school.
According to a recent analysis from research firm NDP Group, morning business stayed stable in the second quarter of 2022, while other sections of the day (including lunch and supper) dropped in the face of increased menu costs.
In a recent earnings call, McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski stated that breakfast is the company’s “strongest performing daypart” and feels good about it. “It’s a shift. “I think there were a lot of questions about breakfast a few years ago,” he admitted.
Sales at McDonald’s US restaurants open at least 13 months increased 3.7% in the second quarter, with higher menu prices and “value offerings” on its normal menu as well as through its app driving growth.
“Over the last few years, McDonald’s has proven itself to be the champion of recognizing and capitalizing on current consumer trends,” Carmen Bryan, a consumer analyst at GlobalData, wrote in a note Tuesday. “The company has consistently reinvented its menu throughout the pandemic and beyond, which has helped it retain relevance and customer interest.”