- McDonald’s has discontinued countless cult classics over the decades, including Szechuan sauce, the “McPizza,” and orange Hi-C.
- The chain has also killed some bizarre menu items, such as McSpaghetti and the Hula Burger.
- Here are 16 McDonald’s menu items you can no longer find at the fast-food chain.
McDonald’s giveth and McDonald’s taketh away.
McDonald’s has been cranking out some of the most iconic menu items in fast food over more than six decades. However, some customer favourites have disappeared from menus, never to be seen again.
McDonald’s graveyard of lost menu items includes cult classics such as Szechuan sauce, the “McPizza,” and orange Hi-C. Then there are some bizarre misfires – McSpaghetti and the Hula Burger are unlikely to see any petitions for their returns anytime soon.
Here is a look back at some of the best and worst McDonald’s menu items that you can no longer order at the chain.
In 2017, fans of the cartoon “Rick and Morty” organised a movement calling for McDonald’s to bring back its Szechuan McNuggets sauce, a plum sauce that was available for a limited time in 1998 to promote the Disney movie “Mulan.”
However, when McDonald’s did bring the sauce back in October 2017, demand far outpaced supply. The sauce’s brief appearance on menus in 2017 ended with bidding wars and riots in fast-food parking lots.
McDonald’s distributed 20 million sauce packs across the country in February 2018, but the passion for the Szechuan sauce had died down at that point. Soon after, the limited-time offering disappeared from menus again – and few have been demanding its return this time around.
McSalad Shakers were on the menu for only three years. But at least some people wish they would return – there’s even a Facebook group trying to bring back the menu item.
McDonald’s spent an estimated $US150 million to $US200 million advertising the Arch Deluxe’s rollout in 1996 – at the time the most expensive promotional campaign in fast-food history,The New York Times reported.
Though the fast-food chain’s executives had predicted it would bring in $US1 billion in sales in 1996, the burger – which at $US2.09 to $US2.49 was on par with or pricier than typical McDonald’s fare – failed to win over customers and was discontinued in the late ’90s.
However, the burger won over a cult following. In early 2018, the chain tested a revamped Archburger, made with fresh beef, at a handful of locations.
Fish McBites served as McDonald’s attempt at creating a mini fried-fish snack – a fishy version of popcorn chicken.
The menu item became McDonald’s first new Happy Meal entree in more than a decade when it was added to menus in 2013. They disappeared soon after.
In the ’60s, McDonald’s debuted its Hula Burger as an option for Catholics looking for meatless options during Lent, according to The Daily Meal.
However, the “burger” – made with grilled pineapple and cheese – failed to capture customers’ interest in the same way that the Filet-O-Fish had. The faux burger is long gone from menus, but McDonald’s execs are contemplating a new wave of vegan burgers.
Although you may have heard this late-’80s menu item being called the “McPizza,” it was never actually named that by McDonald’s. Instead, the chain just called it pizza and hoped that it would bring in customers who frequented other pizza chains, such as Domino’s and Pizza Hut. Starting out as full-size pies, McDonald’s pizza was then offered in individual sizes with toppings such as sausage, peppers, onions, pepperoni, and mushrooms before it was discontinued.
Two McDonald’s locations, one in Pomeroy, Ohio, and the other in Spencer, West Virginia, that kept pizza on the menu since the ’90s were forced to take the item off the menu in 2017, West Virginia Illustrated reported.
That means that pizza is now on the menu at only one McDonald’s in the US – a restaurant in Florida that actually added pizza to the menu in 2016.
Still, demand continued on social media. The Selects returned for a limited time in 2015, but they disappeared again by the end of the year.
In 2017, McDonald’s tried again. The fast-food chain debuted Buttermilk Crispy Tenders, which seem to be intended to fill the Chicken Selects-sized hole in customers’ hearts.
The goal of the McDLT was to keep the burger’s hot patty warm, while the lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise would stay cool and crisp. The burger was served in a two-part polystyrene container, with the warm elements on one side and the cold toppings on the other, Serious Eats reported.
While McDonald’s more gourmet burgers have come and gone, the McDLT represented a major step forward in the fast-food chain’s attempt to improve the quality of its menu offerings.
McDonald’s announced plans to debut its mozzarella sticks across the US in 2015. The snack was seen as a bit mediocre, with some people complaining about missing fillings, though Business Insider’s Hollis Johnson wrote in his review that it was hard to go wrong with piping-hot fried cheese.
“While the mozzarella sticks are far from gourmet, they’re not as bad as one expects – as long as they’re hot,” Johnson wrote. “Once they go cold, all bets are off. But for a mere $US1, it’s hard to go wrong for a quick and melty snack.”
The mozzarella sticks were discontinued not long after their original rollout.
McDonald’s added the McSpaghetti alongside its pizza in the ’80s.According to The Motley Fool, the chain was trying to boost dinner sales by getting into Italian cuisine.
The plan was a bust, as the spaghetti took too long to prepare, so the dish was taken off the menu. However, McSpaghetti remains on the menu in the Philippines, where the noodles are more commonly accepted fast-food fare.
The McLean Deluxe was national news when it launched in 1991, as the chain tried to roll out lower-fat items in the face of criticism. However, people took issue with the taste of the McLean Deluxe – which had less than half the fat percentage of the average McDonald’s burger – and sales tanked, with The Wall Street Journal calling it the “McFlopper.”
McDonald’s finally put the McLean Deluxe out of its misery in 1996.
Big ‘N Tasty
McDonald’s created the Big ‘N Tasty to compete with Burger King’s Whopper. It disappeared from the menu in 2011, but the chain has brought it back a few times since as a limited-time offering.
McDonald’s removed Hi-C Orange Lavaburst from its American menu in 2017, sparking backlash from fans of the drink. The chain replaced the orange drink with a new soda called Sprite Tropic Berry.
Jessica Tyler contributed reporting on an earlier version of this article.
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