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Mighty Wings: Epic Fail by McDonalds

By Edited Mar 27, 2014 0 0
McDonalds in Times Square
Credit: wikipedia commons public domain - Hecki2

Initial Mighty Wings Taste Test

I Really Wanted to Like Them

I opened my first batch of Mighty Wings with great anticipation.  Although healthy eating is generally a habit, chicken wings are a guilty pleasure.  I love them.  I live not much more than a mile away from a McDonalds location.  This seemed like a match made in heaven.

I opened the little box and saw six good sized wings.  They passed the first test.  I don't care for tiny wings.  The smell was good as well.  My mouth was watering.  All systems were go.  Time for the first savory bite.

Lots of Breading

Gee, that first bite contained mostly breading.  Time for another healthy chomp.  Oops, the second bite seemed to be mostly breading as well.  Oh well, keep going.  With the third bite I noticed a definite trend.  I finished inhaling the first one and grabbed at another.  Darn, the same thing.  The wings were mostly fried skin and breading.  The size of the wings was mere

McDonalds Sign
illusion.

Very Salty

After eating the third one I noticed my mouth tasted of salt.  Time for a sip of tea.  Unfortunately, the salty taste never left as I continued eating.  The spicing was fine, but the salty flavor overpowered all else for me.  I knew immediately that my inaugural box of Mighty Wings was also likely my last.  The product just didn't pass my meatiness and taste tests.  The failure was complete enough that further purchases won't occur.

I admire the thought for this new product roll out.  We should encourage McDonalds to go outside the fast food burger box. What happened?

Why Go into Wings?

The executives at the fast food giant could see that wings are popular with the American restaurant consumer.  If successful restaurant chains such as Buffalo Wild Wings can become wildly popular with wing dominant menu choices, then the largest fast food chain in the world with a gigantic customer base and menu which already includes other fried items could surely cash in on this popularity.  The marriage seemed a good fit.

Retro McDonalds
Over the years, the House of Ronald has expanded its menu to fit our evolving tastes.  Burgers got bigger, chicken and fish were added, breakfast items were offered and healthier food introduced.  They had an answer for everything.  McDonalds has even tinkered with pricing by setting up a special Dollar Menu of low-priced favorites.  Why not capture some additional market share by selling a known popular item without having to reinvent the wheel?  What could go wrong?  Plenty, as it turns out.  If the three determining factors in the fast food buying decision are price, taste and time to prepare, the Mighty Wings flopped on two of the three factors.

Pricing Issues

One problem with the Mighty Wings is the pricing.  The initial pricing was about $1.00 per wing, which is higher than KFC's wing price.  KFC offers wings for $.80 each.  In comparison, this price point is similar to the prices at Buffalo Wild Wings, which offers alcohol and a sports bar atmosphere.  McDonalds doesn't offer any extra value for atmosphere and sports viewing.  In short, the product cost too much for a fast food restaurant.  Additionally, the Dollar Menu offers a better "deal" for other menu items.  The only true wing customer would be those going to the restaurant as part of a larger group who otherwise had their hearts set on eating wings.  In other words, some teen aged boys and dad's with their kids.

Taste

Many customers have thought the Mighty Wings are too spicy.  They didn't care for the taste.  I actually liked the spicy taste.  For me, the sodium overlay was too much to overcome.  I really haven't read of widespread complaints over the excess salt or the amount of meat, which are my main gripes.  McDonalds is known for the thorough taste testing of its products prior to introduction.[1]  The usually reliable testing failed to give a proper read on the wider market in this instance.

Excess Inventory

The Mighty Wings failed to sell as hoped by the executives of the fast food giant.  The introduction of the new menu item was only

Mighty Winds sale sign
supposed to run from September through November of 2013.  McDonalds bought fifty million pounds of wings and only sold forty million.  The extra 10 million pounds was placed in freezers to be sold later.  The sale of this unsold inventory is occurring now, at reduced prices.  The "newer" new Mighty Wings are now priced lower at $2.00 per three pack to move the inventory.  

The price cut should clear McDonald's freezers of this product likely to be remembered as an epic fail.

Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal
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Bibliography

  1. John Berman and Mary Marsh "McDonald's Kitchen Lab Puts New Products to Test." McDonald's Kitchen Lab Puts New Products to Test. 10/8/2010. 22/02/2014 <Web >

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