[UPDATE: Details on July 2 national rollout here ] McDonald’s Corp. plans a national introduction of its third-pound Angus burgers by August so that the line can be featured in its October Monopoly promotion, according to a report in Crain’s Chicago Business.
If so, the rollout would be a vote of confidence in the economy and in consumer spending: Last October, stock analysts said the chain was delaying the Angus debut because the time wasn’t right for another premium-price burger. During test marketing in Southern California, which began two years ago, the Angus burgers were priced at $3.99. Initially, the burgers were offered in three varieties: Deluxe, Mushroom & Swiss and Bacon & Cheese. A separate Web site promoted the burgers. A fourth style, Chipotle BBQ Bacon Angus, was added later in Southern California, but may not have been tried in Columbus, Ohio, and New York, where the Angus line also was rehearsed.
McDonald’s sells the Angus burgers nationally in Canada, where they are served on ciabatta rolls. The Southern California test used seeded buns (right). According to the company, the base Angus Burger sold in Canada has 590 calories (just slightly higher than a Quarter Pounder with Cheese) and 33 grams of fat . The Angus Burger with Bacon and Cheddar jumps to 740 calories and 45 grams of fat (slightly less than a Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese).
Some Wall Street analysts long have contended that McDonald’s needs to add a larger burger, such as the third-pound Angus line, to compete with the very successful third-pound Thickburgers offered at Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s. Burger King’s new XT (extra thick) burger patty is 7 ounces of beef. Wendy’s, too, is expected to add a new large signature burger later this year.