McDonald's is adding chicken McWraps as a permanent new offering to its menu -- and the fast food giant hopes that this will unseat Subway as the reigning champ in the “eating healthier” category, according to a report from Ad Age.
In fact, as Business Insider notes, sources familiar with the new menu item claim insiders refer to it as the “Subway buster.”
McDonald's chicken McWrap (McDonald's).
McDonald's Corp. has been stepping up the pace of its new menu offerings as it struggles to grow sales in the challenging economy. Last year, the company ousted the head of its U.S. division after a monthly sales figure fell for the first time in nearly a decade.
By refreshing its menu, McDonald's is hoping to hold onto customers as it faces a shifting industry and intensifying competition from the likes of Burger King and Wendy's. Next week, for instance, The Wendy's Co. plans to roll out its "Flatbread Grilled Chicken Sandwiches."
A South America ad for the McWrap ... which is coming to the U.S. (McDonald's).
The latest offerings also reflect the changing tastes of diners, who are increasingly looking for more premium ingredients with a healthier image -- even at fast-food chains. McDonald's, for example, is officially calling the new wraps "Premium McWraps."
Dan Coudreaut, director of culinary innovation of McDonald's, says the wraps will be a new "platform" and that different varieties are already in the pipeline. These could include spicy or Cajun flavors, he said. In Europe, he noted, there is a shrimp McWrap.
"It's the benefit of McDonald's being a global system," he said, noting that the company can take successful items from around the world and adapt them to other markets. The Sweet Chili Chicken McWrap, for instance, was first offered in Australia.
Although the chicken McWraps officially launch nationwide next week, the company says many restaurants already have them. National advertising is set to start April 1.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.