5 Failed McDonald's Menu Items


1
McAfrica
With Africa suffering famines, people considered the McAfrica tasteless.
With Africa suffering famines, people considered the McAfrica tasteless.
iStockPhoto

In its efforts to cater to people with expanding cultural palates in the U.S., and to appeal to an international audience, McDonald's has released some themed sandwiches throughout the world. Take the McArabia -- a flatbread sandwich with chicken, salad and garlic sauce -- released in Arab countries and in Egypt to help stop a boycott of American products in respon­se to the Iraq War [source: Reuters].

But the company made a major faux pas with a different sandwich. This one was released in Norway in 2002 and called the McAfrica. It consisted of beef and veggies in pita bread. It wasn't that it tasted bad -- but it was in bad taste, according to critics. That's because McDonald's happened to release this sandwich at a time when massive famine was occurring in Africa. The irony was too glaring for people to ignore. After being attacked as insensitive, the company agreed to roll back on its plans for the sandwich and kept donation boxes for hunger-relief charities at the restaurants that did offer it.

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Sources

  • Berss, Marcia. "Empty Tables." Forbes. Dec. 6, 1993. Vol. 152, Issue 13. p232-235.
  • Collins, Glenn. "Chief of McDonalds Defends Arch Deluxe to Franchisees." The New York Times. Sept. 19, 1996. [Oct. 10, 2008] http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A06E3D81E3AF93AA2575AC 0A960958260
  • Collins, Glenn. "Low-Fat Food: Feeding Frenzy For Marketers." The New York Times. September 27, 1995. [Oct. 10, 2008] http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=health&res=990CE1D61F3DF934 A1575AC0A963958260
  • Kidd, Kenneth, Karlene Nation. "Burger business turns tough Fast-food sales lose their sizzle." The Globe and Mail (Canada). Aug. 26, 1991.
  • McCullough, Jillyn. "Lean sales for McDonald's low-fat burger." USA Today. March, 10, 1993.
  • Reuters, "McDonald's bid for peace comes with chicken: Hopes McArabia sandwich will quell anti-U.S.-fury." National Post (Canada). Aug. 8, 2003.
  • ¬≠Riley, Karen. "McDonald's lightens its menu in a new drive to fatten profits." The Washington Times. July 4, 1991.

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