McDonald’s is testing a full-size tortilla wrap, capitalizing on a menu lesson learned overseas and following a path already trod by others here and abroad. Wendy’s also has tested entrée-size wraps.
According to a report in the Chicago Sun-Times, McDonald’s is testing burrito-size Chicken Grande Wraps. All have chicken, cheese, tomato, cucumber and lettuce. The Garden Ranch adds ranch sauce; Roma Pesto has tomato pesto (nonsequitor?) and garlic aïoli; Santa Fe BBQ has barbecue sauce, black beans and corn. The wraps are priced at $3.99, versus $1.49 for most snack wraps and $1.99 for the Angus Snack Wrap added earlier this year.
The Sun-Times story doesn’t identify the test market and doesn’t specify whether McDonald’s is using its higher-quality Chicken Selects strips for its Chicken Grande Wraps or the smaller Chicken Nugget pieces. In Ireland, McDonald’s has added a line of Wraps in four varieties: Sweet Chili Crispy Chicken, Crispy Chicken & Bacon, Salsa & Mayo Grilled Chicken and Spicy Veggie. The first two feature Selects chicken.
In Germany now, McDonald’s offers three McWrap varieties: Crispy Chicken, Classic Beef and Grilled Chicken. Burger King has countered in Germany with a California Wrap full-size wrap and a Texican Burrito. In the UK, beginning Sept. 27, Burger King will sell a Texican Wrap and a Texican Whopper, both with with taco-coated beef, chili and “Cajun Sauce.” Why Cajun with a Tex-Mex item? It must be a global misunderstanding.
Wendy’s last year tested two full-size Fresh Wraps—in Baja and Smokehouse BBQ varieties—using its Boneless Wings chicken. Well received by operators and customers, the Fresh Wrap line is believed to remain a contender for full-market sale. This summer, Wendy’s converted its fish fillet sandwich into a Fish Fillet Wrap for a test in Washington, D.C. Watch for it to return during Lent in 2011.
Full-size wraps’ strongest believer continues to be Pacific Northwest regional chain Burgerville. Its seasonal LTOs have included the Poblano Chicken Wrap last fall and the Roasted Turkey & Cherry Chutney Wrap this summer. (Burgerville is expected to announce a new seasonal special soon, and the early word is that the chain is going back to burgers. Score.)