McDonald’s is constantly planning and testing out new menu items in small markets to see how they’d do across the country. Some of them, like Corn Dog McNuggets and the Catfish Sandwich never made it past the testing phase, while others become big hits. And when they roll out a new item, they try to make as many folks as possible aware of it, so when one fails, everyone knows. These are some of the biggest menu item disasters from the biggest burger chain in America.
Arch Deluxe - When this came out in 1996, Mickey D’s spent more money on the ad campaign than it did on any other single item in its history. The Arch Deluxe - a quarter-pounder with add-ons like circular peppered bacon and Spanish onions - cost them $150 million to market and was a flop.
Hula Burger - This one is from back in the 60s when a franchise owner was having trouble with Friday sales in a mostly Catholic area, so they tried a meat-free “burger” with a grilled pineapple slice replacing the beef.
The McAfrika - This one was released in 2002 in Norway during some of the worst famines ever in Southern Africa, leading this international product to be one of the biggest marketing fails in McDonald’s history.
McLean Deluxe - When they tried to jump on the low-fat bandwagon in 1991, McDonald’s launched this burger that was 91% fat-free, with just 10-grams of fat compared to the Big Mac’s 26-grams. It’s no surprise it was not a hit leading critics to call it the “McFlopper.”
McPizza - Back in the 80s, the Golden Arches tried to compete with chains like Domino’s and Pizza Hut and tried their luck at pizzas and pastas. The dishes weren’t popular and didn’t last long.
McDLT - It seemed like a good idea on the surface: a burger served in a Styrofoam container with two separate compartments - one to keep the top bun, lettuce and tomato cool and the other to keep the hot beef patty and bottom bun warm. It stuck around for six years, but complaints about all that Styrofoam packaging being bad for the environment led to it being discontinued in 1990.