Posted: 3:53 pm Thursday, July 2nd, 2009
By Allison Ross
McDonald’s Corp. has debuted its new Angus burger nationwide today as part of an attempt to lure in customers looking for a cheaper alternative to the beefy burgers in sit-down restaurants like Red Robin.
The 1/3 lb burger, which costs about $4, is the first new line of hamburgers the giant fast-food restaurant chain has launched since 2001 (the Big ‘N Tasty).
Sadly, this announcement comes at a poor time for my McDonald’s-loving editor, who is currently trying to cut back on his burger consumption. (I intentionally didn’t show him photos of the new burgers.)
But analysts are also concerned that McDonald’s introduction of the Angus burger won’t really be a way to attract new customers as much as it will pull sales away from other of McDonald’s burgers. According to a story by Bloomberg:
The burgers may pull sales away from McDonald’s core menu of Big Macs and Quarter Pounders, said Darren Tristano, an executive vice president at Technomic Inc., a Chicago-based restaurant consulting firm.
“The Angus is going to upsell someone who would have bought a Big Mac or Quarter Pounder,” Tristano said. “It’s less likely to attract new customers than cannibalize existing ones.”
The company actually began developing its Angus burgers a couple years ago; the more-expensive patties have been available to test customers at 500 restaurants in Los Angeles, New York, Columbus, Ohio, and Albuquerque — a spokesman at McDonald’s told Bloomberg that the test sales of the Angus burgers didn’t hurt sales of core menu items.
Have you had this burger yet? What did you think?