Challenge McDonald’s and it will hit back hard. That seems to be what’s happening in Germany, where Big Mac is protecting strong sales and marketplace leadership with a protein parade of inventive menu items. Burger King’s latest monologue promotes Grilled Chicken Classic and Grilled Chicken Barbecue sandwiches, so McDonald’s has responded with something completely new and different: a shrimp burger. There’s also a new Italian-style burger on the menu.
And as if that weren’t enough, McDonald’s next week (7/5) goes native with the introduction of the Nürnburger, a mini bratwurst sandwich (right). McDonald’s reported a 5.7% comparable-sales increase for Europe in May, with Germany singled out as one of the markets contributing to that strong showing. The chain is going all out to maintain that strength.
The Shrimp Lemon burger combines a fried shrimp patty with lettuce and garlic-lemon sauce on an herbed wheat bun. Its McDonald’s menu companion is the Big Beef Parmesano, a beef patty topped with pancetta, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, tomato, lettuce and Caesar dressing on a ciabatta roll.
The Nürnburger continues McDonald’s interest in promoting brand names on its menu to showcase its food quality. In this case, the bratwurst comes from Howe, a leading German sausage maker. The Nürnburger name is a play on Nuremberg, a German city and popular sausage style. McDonald’s Nürnburger puts three Nuremberg sausages, grilled onions and mustard on a roll.
Despite the beef-shrimp-bratwurst display in Germany, McDonald’s certainly isn’t backing away from chicken items on its global menu. In Japan, where Burger King has introduced a giant, three-patty Rodeo burger, McDonald’s is responding with three chicken items. Joining the menu are Salt & Lemon Chicken and Aurora Chicken (the latter with bacon) sandwiches and Chicken Tenders. The McDonald’s “Chicken for Love” campaign includes an array of catchy TV commercials.