10 Most Popular McDonald's Menu Items of All Time


1
French Fries

Food innovation is essential to the future of McDonald's, yet classic menu favorites still account for more than 75 percent of the company's sales around the world [source: McDonald's 2007 annual report]. The McDonald's french fry, which can trace its heritage all the way back to the original McDonald's restaurant in San Bernardino, Calif., that introduced french fries in 1949, is the most classic menu item of them all. In 1967, Idaho-based Simplot Company, which developed frozen potato products, struck a deal with McDonald's to provide frozen french fries to the expanding fast-food chain. Today, every fry is frozen and then cooked on-site in oil.

The deep-fried potatoes got a bad rap in the 1980s when the public became concerned about the beef tallow, a medium rich in cholesterol, used to cook them. Since 1990, McDonald's has been cooking its fries in vegetable oil, and in 2008, switched to zero-trans-fat cooking oil. Despite these changes, which altered their trademark taste, McDonald's french fries remain eternally popular with our fast-food nation. The restaurant chain serves approximately 9 million pounds (4 million kilograms) of fries a day [source: McDonald's]. And in a 2007 Zagat survey, McDonald's fries acquired 63 percent of the vote, compared to just 10 percent each for runners-up Burger King and Wendy's.

Hungry for more articles? We can satisfy that craving below.

Related HowStuffWorks Articles

More Great Links

Sources

  • Alfano, Sean. "Big Mac Hits The Big 4-0." CBS News. Aug. 24, 2007. (March 18, 2009)http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/08/24/business/main3200598.shtml?source=RSSattr=Business_3200598
  • Andersen, Shea. "Potato king J.R. Simplot, U.S. fry innovator, dies." Reuters. May 26, 2008. (March 18, 2009)http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSN0417152520080526
  • "Beyond Burgers: McDonald's Menu Upgrade Boosts Meal Prices and Results." Wall Street Journal. Feb. 18, 2006. (March 18, 2009)http://faculty.msb.edu/homak/homahelpsite/webhelp/McD_s_Menu_Upgrade_WSJ_2-18-06.htm
  • Big Mac Museum. Web site. http://www.bigmacmuseum.com/#
  • Christensen, Clayton. "Innovation: A Happy Meal For McDonald's." Forbes. Oct. 26, 2007. (March 18, 2009)http://www.forbes.com/2007/08/31/christensen-innovation-mcdonalds-pf-guru_in_cc_0904christensen_inl.html
  • Greenspan, Lorie. "Chain of Plenty." Food & Drink Quarterly. Vol. 3, Issue 2. (March 18, 2009)http://www.fdqmagazine.com/English/article_view.asp?ArticleID=135
  • Gregory, Sean. "In Lean Times, McDonald's Only Gets Fatter." Time. Jan. 21, 2009. (March 18, 2009)http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1872629,00.html?iid=sphere-inline-bottom
  • Howard, Theresa. "McD's Happy Meal revisits past with birthday promo." Nation's Restaurant News, presented on BNET. Nov. 21, 1994. (March 18, 2009)http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3190/is_n46_v28/ai_15894008
  • Love, John F. "McDonald's: Behind the Arches." Bantam. 1997.
  • ¬≠McDonald's Corporation. 2007 annual report.
  • "McDonald's drops fried apple pie for baked version." Nation's Restaurant News, presented on BNET. Oct. 26, 1992. (March 18, 2009)http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3190/is_n43_v26/ai_12806945?tag=content;col1
  • McDonald's Corporation. McDonald's menu.
  • McDonald's Corporation. "Our company." (March 18, 2009)http://www.aboutmcdonalds.com/mcd/our_company.html
  • Parpis, Eleftheria. "Behind McD's Weird Filet-O-Fish Ad." Brandweek. March 11, 2009. (March 18, 2009)http://www.brandweek.com/bw/content_display/news-and-features/retail-restaurants/e3i71419f4d58d0cd4c23d760eb4909607d?imw=Y
  • Ross, Allison. "McDonald's double cheeseburger kicked off $1 menu." Palm Beach Post. Dec. 1, 2008. (March 18, 2009)http://www.palmbeachpost.com/business/content/business/epaper/2008/12/01/a6b_cheeseburger_1202.html
  • Spurlock, Morgan. "The Truth about McDonald's and Children." Common Dreams. May 22, 2005. (March 18, 2009)http://rense.com/general65/ncd.htm
  • "Superbrands Case Study: McDonald's." Brand Republic. June 28, 2002. (March 18, 2009)http://www.brandrepublic.com/InDepth/Features/148903/Superbrands-case-studies-McDonalds/
  • Wallop, Harry. "McDonald's salads good for the bottom line." The Sydney Morning Herald. Feb. 7, 2006. (March 18, 2009)http://www.smh.com.au/news/business/mcdonalds-salads-good-for-the-bottom-line/2006/02/06/1139074167870.html?page=2
  • Warner, Melanie. "Salads or No, Cheap Burgers Revive McDonald's." New York Times. April 19, 2006. (March 18, 2009)http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/19/business/19mcdonalds.html?_r=1
  • "What Consumers Think: 2008 QSR Magazine Survey of Consumer Attitudes and Preferences in Quick-Service Restaurants." QSR Magazine. June 2008. (March 18, 2009)http://www.qsrmagazine.com/articles/features/116/charts.phtml
  • Younge, Gary. "McDonald's grabs a piece of the apple pie." The Guardian. March 23, 2005. (March 18, 2009)http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/mar/23/usa.foodanddrink
  • "Zagat Reveals Results of Fast Food Survey." Zagat Survey, LLC. May 11, 2007. (March 18, 2009)http://www.zagat.com/About/Index.aspx?menu=PR74

UP NEXT

Sure, Amazon's Changed Shopping, But Retailers Can Still Compete

Sure, Amazon's Changed Shopping, But Retailers Can Still Compete

Just 9 percent of all shopping is online, but it's growing fast. HowStuffWorks shares a few tricks retail stores are using to stay competitive.


More to Explore